Activist Akhil Gogoi, in jail since December 2019 on charges of sedition and inciting violence during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act movement, has won from Sibsagar, once a communist bastion that the Congress took over in 2001.
Contesting as an independent, he defeated his nearest rival Surabhi Rajkonwari of the BJP by a margin of 9,064 votes.
Consolidation of the leftist votes, localised anti-CAA sentiments and an emotional campaign by his mother Priyoda Gogoi are believed to have worked for Mr. Gogoi. He had been a member of a socio-political organisation associated with CPI (Marxist-Leninist) in the 1990s.
“I congratulate Akhil Gogoi on the victory. I expect him to play the role of a constructive opposition,” said Finance Minister and bete noire Himanta Biswa Sarma, who won the Jalukbari seat by more than 1 lakh votes.
The jailed leader is the president of the newly-formed Raijor Dal. But his counterpart and ally Lurinjyoti Gogoi of the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) cut a sorry figure in both the eastern Assam seats he had contested.
The AJP leader finished third behind the BJP and the Congress candidates in Duliajan and Naharkatia.