BJP to back new ally to take power in Bodoland council

Guwahati/New Delhi, Dec 13 : Assam’s ruling BJP will support its new ally UPPL to take power in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) as the results of the elections to the 40-member autonomous body threw up a fractured mandate even as the saffron party made big gains.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) had fought against each other in the BTC polls despite ruling Assam together along with the Asom Gana Parishad.

Accompanied by Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday announced that student leader-turned-politician Pramod Boro, President of the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), would be the new chief of BTC.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J.P. Nadda congratulated Sonowal, Sarma and Assam party chief Ranjit Kumar Das for the party’s success in the BTC polls, which were held in two phases on December 7 and 10 and result declared on Saturday and Sunday.

The BJP, which heads Assam’s ruling coalition, has emerged as the major winner as the party has won in nine seats this time. It had managed just one seat in the last BTC polls in 2015.

The BPF, which has been ruled the BTC ever since 2005 after the tribal autonomous body was constituted in 2003 as a political solution to Bodo agitation for a separate state, has won 17 seats this time while UPPL got 12 seats. The opposition Congress and Gana Suraksha Parishad managed to get one seat each.

Shah, greeting the Assam Chief Minister and BJP leaders, said: “NDA secured a comfortable majority in Assam BTC election. Congratulations to our ally UPPL, CM Sarbananda Sonowal, state President Ranjit Kumar Das, Himanta Biswa Sarma and state BJP unit. I thank people of Assam for their continued faith in PM Narendra Modi’s resolve towards a developed North East.”

Nadda, in a tweet, said: “Congratulations to NDA partner UPPL and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Astate President Ranjit Kumar Das, senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for securing clear majority in Assam BTC election. The result shows the faith of people in the leadership and policies of Hon PM Narendra Modi Ji.”

Sonowal said: “My cabinet colleague and NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma has already said the UPPL, BJP and GSP will form the council together. Pramod Boro would be the Chief Executive Member and his deputy will be from the BJP.”

“The people in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) have shown they want peace, stability and development. Possibly for the first time, the BTC elections were held in a very peaceful and democratic manner besides the participation of all sections of people overwhelming,” he said after the meeting with leaders of all winning parties.

As the President of the All Bodo Students’ Union, Boro had played a significant role in signing the 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 as UPPL nominees.

The BTC election was held after a Bodo peace accord was signed in New Delhi on January 27 by the leaders of all four factions of the NDFB including Boro, besides Sonowal.

The BTC election is dubbed as the semi-final to the 126-member Assam Assembly poll due in April-May next year. The BTC administers four districts — Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri — in northwest Assam bordering West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

The BTC elections were scheduled on April 4 but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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