May 2: Akhil Gogoi's fight against the CAA on Assam streets landed him in jail in December 2019 and even invited sedition charge. His fight did not succeed then as BJP went ahead with the CAA despite the violent protests.
But the maiden electoral battle that Akhil fought from behind the bars brought success on Sunday when he was elected from Sivasagar Assembly constituency. Akhil, 46 defeated Surabhi Rajkonwari of BJP.
Sivasagar, the erstwhile capital of Ahom Dynasty (1238-1826), which witnessed strong protest against the CAA in 2019, was a Congress stronghold. Veteran Congress leader Pranab Kumar Gogoi was elected from Sivasagar four times (2001 to 2016). Gogoi died in February last year.
Surabhi came second in 2016 Assembly elections.
"Akhil Gogoi is a symbol of Assamese people's fight against the CAA. Though only Akhil won from the party, he will continue to fight for protection of identity and culture of the Assamese," a leader of Raijor Dal, Akhil's party said.
Akhil has been in judicial custody since December 2019 when the anti-CAA agitation turned violent in Guwahati and in other places. Akhil's case was handed over to the NIA, which booked him under sedition charge alleging his nexus with Maoists.
Akhil has been constantly vocal against BJP and its policies. Be it BJP's land swap deal with Bangladesh, big dam projects in the Northeast or disinvestment in the PSUs.
Akhil says the CAA would destroy the Assamese identity by giving citizenship to 1.90 crore post-1971 Hindu Bengali migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. BJP, however, rejected the charge.
Raijor Dal, the party he leads was constituted on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti) last year with a target to cash on the anti-CAA sentiments against the BJP. The party contested in 32 of 126 seats and supported Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), another anti-CAA party in a few other seats.
AJP failed to win a single seat. Its president, Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, who also led the anti-CAA agitation lost in both Naharkatiya and Duliajan. Lurin lost to Taranga Gogoi of BJP in Naharkatiya and Congress' Dhrubajyoti Gogoi in Duliajan.