Assam election: Akhil Gogoi’s 84-year-old mother campaigns for him

Sivasagar: Priyada Gogoi is 84 years old and has many ailments, but she is walking the narrow lanes on a campaign trail amidst all the hullabaloo of Assembly polls in Assam for the last 10 days only to free her son — Akhil Gogoi.

Moved by her determination, social activists Medha Patkar and Sandeep Pandey have also joined her from Wednesday to campaign for the jailed anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act leader, who is contesting from the Sivasagar constituency.

Priyada Gogoi, who hails from Selenghat in neighbouring Jorhat district, has been camping in Sivasagar district for the last seven days and leading the campaigning of Raijor Dal, the newly floated political outfit of her son.

“I am campaigning only for my son. I want to see my son free. I know that only the people can free my son from jail. Winning this election will be the first step for him to come out of the caged life,” she told PTI.

At 84 years, she has many old age related ailments but ‘Maa’, affectionately called by everyone, has not missed a single day of campaigning, said Raijor Dal working president Bhasco De Saikia.

“Maa is very active and inspiring us all. From the morning till evening, she is visiting every lane and street of Sivasagar and appealing to people to vote for her son. We are in awe seeing her determination,” he added.

Initially, she was commuting from her home at Selenghat, but is now staying in Sivasagar to save time, Saikia said.

Raijor Dal took out a huge procession of several thousand sympathisers in Sivasagar on Wednesday, bringing life to a complete standstill in this historic town, in support of their candidate Akhil Gogoi.

Priyada Gogoi was leading the procession sitting on an open jeep and appealing to all bystanders with folded hands to vote for her son.

Joining her, Patkar said: “Akhil Gogoi is the only strong voice fighting against corruption in Assam. And we all know how corrupt is BJP and its leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.”

She alleged that the ruling BJP is dividing people on the basis of religion and caste in the name of doing politics, and warned the people of Assam and West Bengal to cast their votes keeping in mind that.

Akhil Gogoi was last year admitted at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for COVID-19 treatment and he remains there for other ailments.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him in December 2019 for his alleged role in violent anti- Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests across the state.

The Sivasagar constituency, from where Gogoi is contesting, is going for polls in the first phase on March 27.