By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Assam activist and MLA Akhil Gogoi said his party Raijor Dal had decided against merging itself with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) as proposed by the latter.

“We had three rounds of discussions with the TMC and I took part in each one of them. TMC leaders and election strategist Prashant Kishor were there. They had requested me to lead the TMC’s Assam unit as president. However, as we are working towards emerging as a regional force, we never thought of merging our party with another party,” Gogoi told journalists in Guwahati on Monday.

He said the TMC had made the offer based on Kishor’s survey.

ALSO READ: Akhil Gogoi to join Opposition ranks? Activist gets call to merge party with Trinamool as Raijor Dal seals deal with Congress in Assam

“West Bengal’s PWD and Law Minister had told me Prashant Kishore had undertaken a comprehensive survey of Assam. The minister said Kishore had stated Raijor Dal is an emerging political party and if an alternative to BJP has to be worked out, it has to be by taking Raijor Dal and Akhil Gogoi along,” the activist said.

He said Raijor Dal is a regional party which represents the aspirations of the people of Assam. He said the party discussed the TMC’s offer threadbare and decided against merger.

“We have decided to send a proposal to the TMC. We want to remain as a regional force and work with the TMC and other regional political parties to secure federalism. The BJP is trying to break the country’s federal structure,” Gogoi alleged.

He said TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the leader that he admires the most among politicians for consistently speaking for federalism.

“I admire Mamata Banerjee the most among politicians. We will work under her leadership for a federal structure. If the regional forces in the country project her as the prime ministerial candidate in 2024, we will support it,” the activist said.