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Trinamool Congress angling for Assam MP

The Trinamool wants Akhil Gogoi to join the party to expand its Assam footprint.  

After reaching out to activist-turned-politician Akhil Gogoi, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been angling for a Member of Parliament to make inroads in Assam.

Naba Kumar Sarania, a former area commander of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom, is a two-time MP representing the Kokrajhar constituency since 2014. Although listed as an independent parliamentarian, he is the chief of the regional Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) that is said to have an influence among more than 15 non-Bodo communities in parts of western and north-central Assam.

“The TMC has sent feelers and we will have a meeting in September. But people are jumping the gun by saying I have joined the party that rules West Bengal,” Mr. Sarania told The Hindu.

The GSP is part of the alliance that ruled the Bodoland Territorial Council straddling 12 of Assam’s 126 Assembly constituencies. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the second largest party of the alliance headed by the United People’s Party Liberal.

A few days ago, Mr. Gogoi said he had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee twice in Kolkata after his release from jail on July 1. “I have been offered the leadership of TMC in Assam but we have not decided whether our party will have a tie-up or be merged with TMC,” he said.

Mr. Gogoi is the president of Raijor Dal and is an MLA from the Sibsagar constituency.

After defeating an aggressive BJP to form the third successive government in West Bengal, the TMC has turned its attention on the Northeast, specifically Assam and Tripura.

On August 16, the TMC’s national ambition via the Northeast received a shot in the arm when Sushmita Dev joined the party a day after quitting as the Mahila Congress president. The daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, she is one of the most influential politicians in the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley of southern Assam.

The TMC showed promise in the Northeast by winning an Assembly seat out of the 23 contested in the 2001 Assam polls. The party also made a mark in Manipur, winning seven Assembly seats in 2013 and one in 2017.

Most of the party’s Manipur MLAs defected to other parties.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:21:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/trinamool-congress-angling-for-assam-mp/article36049350.ece

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