BJP, UPPL and GSP Join Hands to Form the Bodoland Territorial Council

BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary had appealed to the BJP to extend its support to form the Council as both parties were still in alliance in the state and at the centre. However, the BJP ignored the pleas.

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday decided to join hands with the United Peoples’ Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) to jointly form the next Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) after the just concluded polls resulted in a hung House, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.

Union home minister Amit Shah congratulated BJP’s new allies UPPL, and reiterated the victory of the NDA in Assam, on twitter.

The 40-member new Council will be headed by UPPL chief Promode Bodo, Sonowal told reporters after a meeting with the representatives of all the three parties.

The decision was taken following deliberations since last night among North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP president Ranjit Dass, BJP national general secretary and Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia, UPPL chief Promode Bodo and GSP chief and Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania.

The BJP’s alliance partner in the state government, the Bodo Peoples’ Front (BPF), had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats. The UPPL had won 12 seats, the saffron party nine while the GSP and Congress had bagged one seat each.

The BPF and BJP, both alliance partners in the state government, had contested the BTC election separately and both parties had indulged in a bitter campaign against each other. Earlier on Sunday, BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary had appealed to the BJP to extend its support to form the Council as both parties were still in alliance in the state and at the centre. However, the BJP instead allied with the UPPL and GSP to form the BTC.

Also read: Why the BJP Is Going All in to Contest a Local Council Election in Assam

The election to the council was held after a fresh Bodo Accord was signed in New Delhi on January 27 by the leaders of all four factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) then All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) chief Pramod Boro, then BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The BTC election is considered to be semi-final to the Assam assembly poll due in April next year.

The counting of the ballot papers for the 40-member house began on Saturday and continued till Sunday morning.

Among the prominent winners are BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary who won from Debergaon seat but lost the Kachugaon seat to UPPL candidate Ukil Mushahary.

Some other prominent winners include Fresh Mushahary, Dhananjoy Basumatary, Saikhong Basumatary, James Basumatary, Paniram Brahma of the BPF, UPPL’s Nilot Swargiary, Sanjoy Swargiary, Daibausa Bodo and Ranjit Basumatary and BJP’s Bhabendra Bodo, Diganta Barua, Abhiram Mahanayak and Dipak More.

Among the prominent losers are the outgoing deputy chief executive member Khampa Borgoyary, Shyam Chundi of the BPF while all four sitting members of the AIUDF lost with the party failing to open an account in the Council polls.

The election to the BTC cover the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri which falls under the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

The poll was earlier scheduled on April 4 but the Assam State Election Commission had deferred the election to March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after the withdrawal of nomination papers and preparation of the final list of candidates on March 22.

The filing of nominations and scrutiny had been completed by March 20 and the term of the house ended on April 27 with governor Jagadish Mukhi taking over the administration of the Council.

(With inputs from PTI)