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No compromise with Assamese identity, rejected merger with TMC, says Gogoi

Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi said on Thursday that his party has not accepted the Trinamool Congress’s proposal of a merger as it does not want to compromise on its Assamese identity.

IMAGE: Akhil Gogoi. Photograph: Lal Singh/ANI Photo

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi, however, said that only West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee can challenge and defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the present political situation.

 

“I have not met TMC leaders, but they have been in touch with us regularly. They even contacted us just a while ago. They invited us to discuss all issues and take a final decision.

“The TMC is giving us a proposal that we should merge with them. Our point is that we represent the Assamese regional sentiment. We are a regional political party, representing Assamese nationalism. We don’t want to compromise on our separate regional identity,” Gogoi, also an MLA, said.

If the opposition wants to defeat the BJP and RSS in 2024, then all the regional forces must unite and form a federal front, he added.

“We have been discussing these two points with the TMC. They gave us the proposal of merger, but we have not accepted it because we believe in our separate regional identity,” Gogoi said.

He also asserted that if there is anyone who can challenge and defeat Modi in the current scenario, then there is no doubt that it will be Mamata Banerjee.

Raijor Dal, born out of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act movement, has only one representative in the Assam assembly in Gogoi as an Independent MLA.

The TMC has been trying to expand its presence across the country with an ambition to lead the anti-BJP force in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and project Banerjee as the only reliable challenger to Modi.

Twelve of the 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya, including former chief minister Mukul Sangma, joined the TMC, dealing a body blow to the grand old party in the Northeastern state.

The TMC earlier entered Tripura’s political arena, contesting a bitterly-fought municipal election in the neighbouring state.

It will also contest the assembly elections in Goa.

Banerjee, on her recent trip to Delhi this week, cast her net wide and had a good catch in three-term Congress MP from Bihar Kirti Azad, former JD(U) general secretary Pawan Varma and Haryana politician Ashok Tanwar, a former state Congress chief. 

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