Akhil Gogoi seeks vaccine for all in 3 months

GUWAHATI: Without a single mega meeting, nukkar sabha (street corner) meeting or door-to-door campaign across 18 village panchayats, Akhil Gogoi, president of the Raijor Dal, won Sivasagar.
The firebrand peasant activist, who became the first jailed leader to win an election in Assam from judicial custody, was perhaps the first MLA to swing into activism a day after the poll results were announced.
Akhil’s first demand before the new government came on Monday, even before he took the oath, demanding Covid vaccination for 3.3 crore people of the state in the next three months. The peasant leader said free vaccination for all citizens should be the first and foremost task of the new government.
His legal counsel Krishna Gogoi told TOI that his team will soon move the NIA court, seeking bail so that Akhil can enter the assembly to take oath as an MLA. Akhil was booked under the UAPA while spearheading the anti-CAA protests in December 2019 and since then, has been behind bars.
A few months ago he was shifted to the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) for treatment. Akhil filed his nomination from the hospital itself and got elected. The people of Sivasagar are eagerly waiting for Akhil to raise their issues in the house.
If the court doesn’t grant him bail anytime soon, RD working president, Bhasco De Saikia, said they are exploring ways so that Akhil can monitor Sivasagar through ‘a representative’.
Akhil’s voice cannot be muffled though RD’s ideological enemy BJP has returned to power with a decisive mandate once again. “In every panchayat and urban area, the government must organize camps to vaccinate each and every person with care. Till the vaccination drive is over, and the people are not safe, let this work (vaccination drive) be considered as the organized and most important task. I won’t rest till everyone in Assam gets vaccinated,” Akhil said in his letter.
He vowed that in the next three months, he, as an MLA, will focus primarily on highlighting the ‘discrepancies’ in the Covid-19 vaccination. Despite a surging number of cases, people in many districts are returning dejected from the health centres, as the health staff are facing shortage of vaccines for the first dose.
Akhil said that his dream is to develop the historic Sivasagar, a testimony of the glorious Ahom rule- in ‘a new way’.
“There will be untiring efforts from my side to highlight the history and heritage of Sivasagar and the people of Assam, before the world,” Akhil said, adding that in raising the regional issues, his realm will be beyond Sivasagar.
RD leader Russel Hussain said that Akhil’s victory is significant, as it has proved that without money power, solely through mass connection, elections can still be won. “The credibility of a revolutionary (Akhil) helped us win Sivasagar,” said Hussain.
Akhil’s close aide Bedanta Laskar, who led the campaign in Sivasagar, felt that it was the humble approach of RD which worked. “When we went to the households without trying to know their political affiliation, we realized the importance of Akhil Gogoi. Everyone wants a voice in the assembly. People joined two of our mammoth marches voluntarily. Unlike some other parties, we did not have to pay any money to them,” said Laskar.

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