Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi will contest the upcoming elections in Assam from Sivasagar as a candidate of his newly-floated Raijor Dal.

Announcing the list of 18 candidates that the party fielded in the first two phases, Raijor Dal working president Bhasco De Saikia said that Gogoi, who is in judicial custody after arrest during the protests over CAA, will contest from the Sivasagar constituency in Upper Assam.

In the first phase, the party will contest in 12 seats, and in the second phase, it has fielded candidates in six constituencies.

“We have decided to contest in only 18 seats with the intention of not dividing the votes so that the BJP is defeated and to ensure that there is an anti-CAA government in the state,” Saikia said.

In the first phase, besides Gogoi from Sivasagar, the party named Dwiponjyoti Phulan from Chabua, Mohini Mohan Ligira from Moran and Lohit Gogoi from Mahmara.

The other candidates who will be contesting the elections in the first phase are Kabindra Chetia Phukan (Teok), Jiwan Bora (Bokakhat), Najrul Islam (Rupohihat), Mehboob Muktab (Dhing), Alok Nath (Tezpur), Anup Saikia (Bihpuria), Bijay Tirki (Rangapara) and Dharjya Konwar (Thowrah).

In the second phase, it fielded Ruhul Das in Raha, Hareswar Barman in Rangia, Jotil Deka in Kamalpur, Sahabul Islam Choudhary in Dalgaon and Dilwara Choudhury in Jamunamukh.

Gogoi was booked under the stringent UAPA during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019 and has been in judicial custody since then.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi began their Assam campaigns from Sivasagar, and with Gogoi deciding to fight the election from the seat, it assumes significance.

The elections to the 126-member Assam assembly will be held in three phases, beginning on March 27. PTI