BJP may end alliance with BPF before Assam Assembly poll

People in Bodoland Territorial Region are fed up with corruption during BPF’s long rule, says State unit president

The BJP in Assam has indicated that the two-phase Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) poll in December would be the beginning of the end of its alliance with the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

The BJP has been ruling Assam in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BPF since 2016. While the BJP-AGP relationship was back on track after tottering over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act more than a year ago, the BJP and BPF have been drifting apart over the former’s bid to take control of the council that the latter has ruled for 17 years.

“The people in the Bodoland Territorial Region (spanning four districts within the BTC jurisdiction) are fed up with large-scale corruption and pilferage of Central funds for beneficiaries during the BPF’s long rule,” Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said.

He said that most within the State BJP were for breaking up ties with the BPF. “But a final decision in this regard would be taken by the party’s central committee,” he added.

Mr. Dass said people in areas under the BTC were aware of which party was sincere about development and providing good governance. He also said influential BPF leaders were switching over to the BJP, indicating the need for a change in the council areas.

“Former BPF working president and Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary and BPF legislator Emmanual Mosahary are expected to join our party in a few days. Our support base is increasing and we are confident that BJP will either head or be a partner in the next council,” he said.

The BJP has fielded 26 candidates in the 40-seat BTC and supporting an Independent candidate in another seat. The elections will be held on December 7 and 10.

“We expect the BTC poll to set the tone for the 2021 Assembly election as we are preparing to contest the 12 Assembly seats falling within the council areas,” Mr. Dass said.

The BPF had won all these 12 seats in the 2016 Assembly poll.

On November 19 evening, Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the fight for 27 seats in the BTC would primarily be between the BJP and the BPF. “The contest in the remaining 13 seats would be between BPF and United People’s Party Liberal [UPPL],” he said.

The UPPL, a long-time rival of BPF, is allegedly being propped up by the BJP.

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