Opinion | The curious case of Asom Gana Parishad

Mukut Das

Regardless of how the political narrative concludes this year, the paradoxical Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will surely rue its role in the emergence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by taking advantage of the premiere regional political party in 2016 in Assam.

The AGP has apparently become a victim of aggressive Hindutva political-trap which raised question in the prevailing circumstances of the state whether the AGP scored a suicide-goal in the final match between Hindutva ideology and regionalism.

Can AGP overlook its hunger for power by avoiding becoming its own nemesis by going against the interest of the centuries-old ethnic communities?

The AGP cannot blame anyone as it had no option to regain power or to place the party in a position to make people feel the existence of a regional force. But, unfortunately the party could not mobilize the regionalism sentiment and revive its identity.

The AGP has certainly failed to prevent its ally BJP and save the state from the Hindutva aggression.

Before this, the BJP had never formed government in Assam while the AGP had formed government twice. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta ruled the state from December 24, 1985 to November 28, 1990 and from May 15, 1996 to May 17, 2001 as the chief minister.

Now, the AGP is in a position to do or die for its own land since resurrection of regionalism has started. This is apparently the consequence of  the BJP’s move to bring in illegal migrants by implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Can AGP emerge as an orator like Telegana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telengana or Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram by breaking alliance with the BJP and forcing the NDA government to scrap the Bill to save the land, language and culture?

The AGP’s dismal performance in the recently held state panchayat election perspicaciously displayed that the party is on the verge of extinction.

On the one hand, the party has fear of losing power and on the other hand, it has failed to construct the edifice where people can trust for a safe and secure future.

It would be very interesting to follow the AGP’s words and steps ahead on the issues including Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

If the AGP do not act on its words, then people will not hesitate to christen the party as multifaceted and the betrayer of the history.

The watch worthy episode will be how the AGP will utilize the anti-incumbency wave in the upcoming 17th general election or ahead of 2021 Assembly election to regain power after the lamentable defeat in the panchayat election held in December last year.

Concerned people also opined that new faces, if introduced in the party to lead, might restore the party with a fresh energy.

The views expressed by the author are personal and may not in any way represent those of TIME8.