Assam polls: BPF game for alliance with anti-BJP forces

Party chief Hagrama Mohilary’s offer is with a rider – keep out of Bodoland Territorial Region

The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has said it is game for an alliance with anti-BJP forces, provided they keep out of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) comprising four districts of the poll-bound Assam.

BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary said his party was ready to go for strategic tie-ups with the Congress-led grand alliance and a front of new regional parties if they agreed to the BPF contesting 12 Assembly seats within the BTR.

“If they help is in these 12 constituencies, we will help them in 28 seats beyond the BTR where we have a considerable support base,” Mr. Mohilary said after a meeting of his party’s central working committee in Udalguri on February 25.

He added that his party’s 12-member core group would decide on which parties the BPF would ally with. “We are discussing with the Assam Jatiya Parishad, the Raijor Dal and other like-minded parties and the outcome will be revealed soon,” he said.

The BPF’s doors were open to all parties except the BJP and its allies, the Asom Gana Parishad and the United People’s Party Liberal, he asserted.

Parting of ways

The BJP and the BPF parted ways before the elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), which Mr. Mohilary headed for 17 years, in December 2020. The BPF, however, has three Ministers in Sarbananda Sonowal’s BJP-led alliance government.

The BPF was an ally of the Congress for two terms before shifting loyalty to the BJP ahead of the 2016 Assembly polls. But the relationship between the BJP and the BPF began souring more than a year ago.

A few BPF leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary, joined the BJP over the past few months. But the BPF managed to emerge as the single largest party in the last BTC polls.

“We do have Ministers in the BJP-led government, but we are waiting for them to throw them out,” Mr. Mohilary said.

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