GUWAHATI: “Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya zindabad!”, “Don’t quit AASU (All Assam Students’ Union)”-were some of the chants that forced the veteran AASU leader to take a pause once again on his decision to quit the student group.
Bhattacharya who has been reiterating his desire to leave AASU has found himself in a dilemma. He has been acting as the AASU advisor for years now.
Before attending the 17th central conference of AASU at Duliajan, Bhattacharya had confirmed his decision. However, following public demands, he said that he will reconsider his decision of retirement after thousands of AASU workers demanded that he continue his stint with the student body.
He said, “AASU is an emotion. I have always worked with my student community and taken the guidance of my elders. Seeing the emotional outburst of the people of the state and the students, I have now landed in a deep dilemma. Now I need some time to rethink my strategy. It’s a fight with my consciousness.”
Till filing this report, Bhattacharya has not confirmed his next move. The AASU conference also ended meanwhile and AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath was re-elected as the president for the second term and Shankarjyoti Baruah has been named as the new general secretary of the students’ body.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi resigned from the students’ body. Gogoi is likely to join the newly floated political party, Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and contest the upcoming Assembly elections from the Duliajan constituency.
However, Bhattacharya’s decision to rethink his previous stand was also criticized by many. Many believed that the veteran leader should quit the student group and make way for ‘fresh blood’.
Writer Mrinal Talukdar said, “For months Bhattacharya has been saying that he is quitting AASU. But why you are again indecisive. Strong leaders do not bow before ’emotion’. No one is indispensable in this world. Give room for new blood.”
Many others said that AASU should not also force him to stick to the student body. “He has done his bit and he must be given a grand farewell rather than asked to keep working for the group.” Though many suspected that Bhattacharya may join politics like others, the student leader discarded the claims and said, “My plan is to continue working for the community and Assam but I will remain non-political.”