Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has now allied with United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), forming the ruling alliance in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The poll results were declared on Sunday.
Former president of All Bodo Students’ Union Promod Boro, who now leads UPPL, will become the next Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the BTC. Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said, “I hope that under new CEM Promod Boro’s leadership, the BTC will work for the development of all communities through cooperation.”
BTC is a self-governing and autonomous body that comes under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. There have been a total of two Bodo accords earlier. It was the second one that led to the BTC’s formation in 2003. Additionally, in the 2015 BTC elections, the BPF won 20 seats to come to power. Then, the BJP secured only one seat.
The election for the 40-member BTC was held on Monday and Thursday (December 7 and 10). Additionally this year, the UPPL won 12 seats, followed by BJP with nine seats, GSP and Congress with one seat each, and BJP’s ally in the state government, BPF, won 17 seats. This time, however, the BJP did not ally with the BPF as it has previously campaigned against them and went on to ally with UPPL.
While there are three ministers from the BPF in Sonowal’s Cabinet, all three were absent during the Cabinet meeting held last Sunday.
After the results were declared, the BPF supremo and former BTC CEM, Hagrama Mohilary posted, “With the love and support of the people of BTC, our party has got the single largest majority with 17 seats out of 40. Since we are in alliance with the BJP in central as well as the state, our party is hopeful that the BJP will support us in forming the government. Our party is committed to work for the growth and prosperity of our region.”
After the new alliance in the BTC was announced on Sunday, BJP stalwarts including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Minister of Health, Education, and Family welfare of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma, congratulated UPPL and called the party an ally.
Though BPF did win the majority seats in the election (17), BJP decided to dump its alliance after the results were declared. These results also signal the entry of BJP in BTR, from one seat last time to nine now. The 2020 BTC elections also come after the Centre, in January, signed a landmark peace and development accord with Bodo groups. This was also followed by the laying down of arms of over 1,600 cadres of the militant outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland.