BJP to be part of alliance that will rule Bodoland council


The United People’s Party Liberal will head the alliance that includes party of former leader of United Liberation Front of Asom.

The BJP will be part of a three-party alliance that will rule the autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

The alliance will be led by the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), whose president Pramod Boro has been named the next chief executive member of the council.

The third entity is the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) headed by independent Lok Sabha member Naba Kumar Sarnia, a former leader of the extremist United Liberation Front of Asom.

“My Cabinet colleague and North East Democratic Alliance convener Himanta Biswa Sarma has already said the UPPL, BJP and GSP will form the council together. Pramod Boro will be the chief executive member and his deputy will be from the BJP,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Sunday.

The UPPL had won 12 seats, the BJP nine and the GSP one. Together, they have 22 members, one more than the majority mark in the 40-member council.

 

The UPPL’s long-time rival Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) had ruled the BTC for 17 years from February 2003 until it was dissolved on April 27 this year. Led by Hagrama Mohilary, the BPF managed 17 seats this time.

The BPF and the BJP had fought each other in the BTC polls despite ruling Assam together along with the Asom Gana Parishad. But leaders of the two parties had been engaged in a slanging match during the campaign, indicating they could end their alliance ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls.

This was amplified by Mr. Sonowal.

“The people in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) have shown they want peace and development. Perhaps for the first time, the BTC elections were so peaceful and democratic and the participation was overwhelming,” he said.

During the run-up to the election, the UPPL, the BJP and other parties had accused the BPF of large-scale corruption and having let loose a reign of fear for almost two decades.

Soon after the final result was announced, Mr. Mohilary sought the BJP’s support in forming the council. But the BJP turned down the offer and backed Mr. Boro, a former student leader.

As the president of the All Bodo Students’ Union, Mr. Boro had played a key role in the Centre signing a peace accord with four factions of the extremist National Democratic Front of Boroland in January. Several leaders of these factions contested and won the elections, many on UPPL ticket.

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