They focus on the Bengali-dominated Barak valley.
The list of new regional parties in Assam continues to expand ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections.
Two parties have been formed within a fortnight since November 15, this time from the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley in southern Assam. The Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley has already seen the birth of four regional parties this year, with a fifth, a political platform for some tribes, in the works.
The Barak Democratic Front (BDF) was floated on November 28 by a group that had espoused statehood for the Bengali-speaking Barak Valley after the exclusion of 19.07 lakh people — a bulk of them presumed to belong to the linguistic group — from the updated National Register of Citizens in August 2019.
“The party has been formed to protest the discrimination against the people of Barak Valley. We plan to contest all the 15 Assembly seats in the Valley,” said Pradip Dutta Roy, the chief convenor of BDF and the founder-president of All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students’ Association.
The Barak Ekta Party, formed on November 15, has also decided to contest all the 15 seats. “Our focus is on fighting for the rights of the people of Barak Valley and working to fulfil their demands,” said the party’s chief convenor, Amit Roy.
The influential All Assam Students’ Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad had in September launched the Assam Jatiya Parishad, 35 years after leaders of these groups and some others had formed the Asom Gana Parishad, now a minor partner in the government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Jailed peasant rights activist Akhil Gogoi’s group, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), and about 70 associate organisations floated Raijor Dal, meaning ‘People’s Party’.
Earlier this year, people from various walks of life had formed two other political parties, called Asom Gana Mancha and Asom Songrami Mancha. The latter merged with the AJP on September 26.
For the KMSS, Raijor Dal has been the second political venture in five years. It had formed the Gana Mukti Sangram, Asom in March 2015 for “changing the capitalist system of India”, but could not sustain the party.