Assam grants associate official language status to Bodo
The Assam cabinet on Wednesday decided to notify Bodo as an associate official language of the state.
The development comes nine months after signing of the Bodo Peace Accord among the Centre, the Assam government, four Bodo rebel groups and two Bodo organisations, which included declaring Bodo as associate official language as one of the clauses.
A Bodo Kachari autonomous welfare council for people belonging to Bodo community residing outside 6th Schedule areas—another clause mentioned in the accord signed in January – has also been decided to set up by the state cabinet.
“The state cabinet has taken two important decisions. Bodo will be the associate official language for the state of Assam. (Setting up of) Bodo Kachari autonomous welfare council outside the 6th Schedule area for welfare of Bodo community,” senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.
The Bodo Peace Accord was signed in January by four militant factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and United Bodo Peoples’ Organisation (UBPO) with the Centre and Assam government.
Last month, the Assam government announced setting up a commission to redraw the boundary of Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), which comprises Baksa, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Chirang districts – one of the accord’s main clauses.
BTAD has since been named Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) as per another clause in the accord
Elections to Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), which was ruled by Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), a partner in the BJP-led ruling coalition in the state, was scheduled in April this year, but the entire BTAD was placed under Governor’s rule the same month as polls couldn’t be held due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
On Tuesday, the state government held an all-party meeting to discuss election to BTC where the state health department proposed holding the polls in December in view of the existing Covid-19 scenario.