"We have prepared ourselves to form a new political party. It will be a regional party. People from all tribes, castes, communities, religions and languages will be a part of this party," KMSS President Bhasco De Saikia said.
Akhil Gogoi is an Indian peasant leader and RTI activist from Assam. Over the years he has been leading many anti-graft movements in the state. Gogoi came to national attention after he was awarded the Shanmugam Manjunath Integrity Award in 2008 for his relentless fight against corruption. In 2010, he was awarded the national Right to Information Award by Public Cause Research Foundation for exposing a 12.5 million scam in Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojna in the Golaghat district of Assam.
Gogoi is the founder Secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) - a left-wing peasant organisation based in Assam.
Gogoi was arrested in December last year for leading a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act outside the Jorhat deputy commissioner’s office. The NIA said that Gogoi has been booked for waging a war against the nation, conspiracy and rioting. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which empowers the government to designate an individual as a “terrorist” if he or she is found to be committing, preparing for, promoting, or being involved in an act of terrorism. This led to outrage against the protest. His right to freedom of speech and expression was curtailed by the state at a time of high public sentiment. After this, Gogoi has been arrested and released multiple times. Recently, he tested COVID positive and was being treated at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Farmer body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti on Saturday announced that it will launch a political party to fight the Assam assembly election in 2021 and its jailed leader Akhil Gogoi will be its chief ministerial candidate. The leadership announced that Mr Gogoi will announce the name once he is out of the arrest.
Lately, KMSS has opened a number of provisional retail outlets in different parts of Guwahati city to facilitate direct access of rural peasantry with urban markets. Claiming it as an alternative to FDI in Retail as well as mafia-run-syndicates, KMSS expressed its plan to open more outlets in the city on a permanent basis. These outlets will be run by the peasants themselves and will sell agrarian products on a drastically lower price, removing the middleman in between. On the very first day of the opening of the outlets, more than hundred quintals of vegetables have been reported to be sold within a few hours.
Currently, the leadership of KMSS hopes for the speedy release of Gogoi which they pray will happen by October. Gogoi led the Anti-CAA movement in Assam in full fury, inspiring people along the way.