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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sahidul does a volte-face, playing Bengali card now

SILCHAR, Oct 8: In the 1980’s, Sahidul Alom Choudhury had created a furore in Barak Valley by declaring that the colloquial Bengali language spoken in the valley had no resemblance with the mainstream Bengali language. He was of the view that rather the language of the valley had immense similarities with Asomiya language. Sahidul Alom, then an upcoming politician desperate to find a footing in the AGP, had made this comment during the Hailakandi session of the Axom Xahitya Xabha (AXX).

Organizations like the Barak Upatyaka Banga Sahitya Sammelon condemned the comment, but Sahidul got his desired lift in the State politics and became a trusted lieutenant of the then Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta. During the AGP regime, Sahidul was the boss in Barak Valley, both at the party and administration levels.

But, times have changed as Sahidul Alom tasted defeat in the last Assembly elections in his fort, Algapur, against Rahul Roy. His mentor Mahanta has returned to the AGP, which has already inked an alliance with the saffron brigade, BJP, till the 2011 Assembly elections. Sahidul Alom has realized that if this alliance continues, the Muslim votes will elude him in the next election. A desperate Sahidul Alom is now out to play the Bengali linguistic card.

He is playing the role of a catalyst to create a chemistry between the AIUDF and the Trinamool Congress arguing that the former champions the cause of the Bengali Muslim while the latter will get the support of the Bengali Hindus.

Sahidul explained that Bengali Hindus constitute 20 per cent and Bengali Muslim 30 per cent of the total population, and if both the communities combine under the umbrella of AUDF-TMC alliance, Bengalees would be a force in Asom. Sahidul Alom has already declared that he has distanced himself from the AGP led by Chandra Mohan Patowary, who asked the Hailakandi AGP to send a report on Sahidul’s recent remarks on the basis of which disciplinary action could be taken against him. In Gautam Roy’s Hailakandi, none of the Opposition parties has a powerful leader except Sahidul Alom.

The Hailakandi AIUDF leaders have made it clear that they will not accept Sahidul Alom as their leader. Sahidul recently created quite a sensation by distributing lungis during Idd under the banner of Ajmal Foundation, an NGO run by AIUDF boss Badrauddin Ajmal. People started to believe that Sahidul would join the AIUDF. THE SENTINEL

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