The regional political party backed by two of Assam’s most influential youth and student bodies will be named Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), it’s convenors said on Monday.
The party was formed weeks after both bodies — All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) — had formed an “Assam Advisory Committee”, comprising 16 eminent personalities of the state, to suggest a future course of action towards protecting the interests of the state’s indigenous people.
AJP’s origins lie in the massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that had swept Assam late last year. At the time, both AASU and AJYCP were instrumental in agitating against the amendment as well as the ruling BJP.
Assembly elections in Assam are expected early next year. The Congress has already announced it will ally with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and other willing parties to create an anti-BJP front.
The primary guiding ideology of the new party would be “Assam first, always and ever” while its slogan would be ‘Ghore ghore aami (We are in every home in Assam)’, chief convenors Krishna Gopal Bhattacharyya and Basanta Deka, both prominent academics of the state, said at a press conference on Monday. They added that a political convention will be held in early November, after a membership drive at various levels of the party is carried out in September and October.
Describing the party’s objectives, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi took to Twitter saying the new party was an opposition to communal and anti-Assam forces. He hoped that, keeping in mind the advice of people of Assam, the new party will see all regionalist forces of Assam come together politically and work in the interests of the state.
This is the second time in the state’s recent history that a popular regionalist movement has given rise to a political party. In 1985, after signing the Assam Accord, student leaders of the six-year-long “anti-foreigner” Assam Movement came together to form the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which came to power soon after. The AGP is now in coalition with the BJP in the state government.