Winning An Election From Jail

Can I win an election from jail? This question has been answered today. In India a person from the state of Assam made it possible. This person has been in jail since December 2019. So that’s 18 months in jail. Who votes for someone whom they haven’t seen for more than a year? Well, some good folks did and blew the trumpet for the coming change.

Akhil Gogoi being dragged to jail. Now things will change not just for him but for the people of his constituency.

What’s the charge?

Asking uncomfortable questions to Government. Akhil Gogoi is a Right To Information activist. The Right To Information Act(RTI) in India gives a person the power to ask the Government questions. But any Government will shut you down if you ask too many questions and that’s what happened to him. He was booked under the draconian UAPA act. It allows any citizen to be taken under custody without a court order. The charge on Akhil Gogoi is that he has link to Maoist insurgents. He clearly denies any link with CPI Maoist. Akhil publicly accepted that he is a Marxist, but not a Maoist. He has challenged the Government to prove any connection but the Government till date hasn’t produced any proof. They kept on adding new cases on him and kept him inside the jail. The BJP Government in his state of Assam knows very well that if he is left loose, he might win the whole state election. And so the smart way is to keep the strongest opponent in jail.

Akhil Gogoi won the national Right to Information Award by Public Cause Research Foundation ( for his role in exposing a 12.5 million scam in Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojna in the Golaghat district of Assam.

How Did He Win From Jail?

That’s the most interesting question. Even the current ruling BJP Government is in shock. Imagine a person winning an election from jail with no campaigning, what could this person have done if he was not booked under false charges and was allowed to campaign for the election.

Akhil established his party called Raijor Dol from within the jail. His old widowed mother who has been asking for his release have done campaigning on his behalf.

Obviously the people have supported him in his bad times and they showed their love and support with votes. Ladies from villages came out on their own to ask the public to vote for Akhil. He didn’t ask anyone to campaign for him, people came out on their own.

Ladies from Sibsagar doing campaigning for Akhil Gogoi on their own. Copyright – Bedabrat Gogoi

While I wrote an article called Goodbye Democracy a month back discussing the fall of democracy in India, this win by Akhil Gogoi has restored my faith in democracy.

Foul play by the BJP Government lost at the end. Thank you to the people of Sibsagar for this beautiful win. Truth has prevailed.

What’s Next?

Everyone in the state of Assam is asking what will happen next. Will he be released from jail now that he is the Member of Legislative Assembly? Even I don’t know the answer yet. I am eagerly waiting to open the news channel tomorrow and learn what will happen next.

The BJP Government might have won the state election in Assam and Puducherry but they got a bitter defeat in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Hindutva agenda has failed in three states.

Thank You Sibsagar!

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