All eyes are on the four-day general conference of All Assam Students Union (AASU) which will start on Wednesday as the state’s premier student body gives final shape to a new political party ahead of next year’s assembly polls.
In September, AASU and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), another influential student body, had joined hands and announced formation of Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), which will contest the polls due in March-April.
The general conference, to be held at Duliajan in Dibrugarh district, is expected to announce the office-bearers of the new political party and also witness several prominent faces of AASU leaving the platform to join active politics.
The terms of AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi are ending and both the leaders are expected to take contest the next assembly polls.
While Gogoi was slated to join AJP, there’s no clarity yet on which party Nath would join. Since both have been vehemently opposing the BJP-led coalition in the state, it is expected that they will join anti-BJP fronts.
There’s also speculation that AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya, one of the most prominent student leaders from the region, will be retiring from the outfit during the general conference.
Bhattacharya, who is reported to be unhappy with the way AJP is shaping up, has remained mum on the speculations. There’s no indication yet on whether he will join any political party and contest the next polls.
Incidentally, AJP is the second political party to be formed by AASU after Asom Gana Parishad, which came into being in 1985 after signing of the Assam Accord that ended the six-year-long anti-foreigners agitation–in which both AASU and AJYCP played a key role.
Both organisations had spearheaded the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act stir in the state opposing the Centre’s move to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan—which many in Assam feared would lead to large scale influx of Bangladeshis to the state.
Earlier, leadership of both AASU and AJYCP had stressed that formation of the new party won’t affect the organisations and they would retain their non-political character.