Hiren Gohain and Akhil Gogoi

Guwahati: Eminent writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Hiren Gohain on Wednesday stepped down as an advisor to the newly formed political party, Raijor Dal, of Assam after its president Akhil Gogoi branded the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) as a “communal force”.

Gogoi’s statement on the AIUDF, led by Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal, is “unrealistic, misleading and harmful for the state”, Gohain told reporters.

The Raijor Dal president, who is currently in jail in connection with cases related to violence that erupted during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, in a letter on Tuesday appealed to all opposition parties to unite and field a single candidate against each BJP nominee to defeat the saffron party in the upcoming polls.

Akhil Gogoi’s letter also said that the Raijor Dal would not join the Congress-led Grand Alliance till the Ajmal-headed party is there, as “we believe that the AIUDF is also a communal force and complement the BJP on many issues”.

This letter of Gogoi, made public by the party’s working president Bhasco De Saikia, has “made me step down as the advisor of the Raijor Dal and henceforth will have nothing to do with the party”, Gohain said.

The noted author said that Gogoi has asked anti-BJP forces to unite but left out the AIUDF, which is also one such party, and this is very unrealistic.

“We may have certain issues with the AIUDF but it is not as harmful as the BJP. An informed decision must be taken during this election to ensure that people vote for the next five years in favour of democracy and secularism,” he said.

The BJP is the “biggest enemy of our democratic country and Akhil’s comments on the AIUDF is baseless as I have not heard its leader Badruddin Ajmal making any anti- Assamese or anti-Hindu statements. He has opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act and accepted the Assam Accord,” Gohain said.

The Raijor Dal has entered into an alliance with another newly formed regional party, the Assam Jatiya Parishad, and both have announced that they will not join the Grand Alliance.

The Grand Alliance was formed by the Congress with the AIUDF, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) and two other parties to fight the upcoming Assembly election against the BJP-led ruling alliance in the state.

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