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Assam: BJP out to saffronise volatile Bodo heartland

By Anurag Kashyap
March 10, 2015 17:21 IST
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Twenty odd important political figures and civil society leaders from Assam’s conflicts-ridden Bodo heartland have joined Bharatiya Janata Party that has started its 'Mission Bodoland' with bang announcing its intention to provide an alternative to Bodoland people who are fed up with misrule of Bodoland People’s Front where has been in power in Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Council over ten years on the trot.

Ignoring overtures for alliance from the two Bodo political groups -- BPF and its arch rival, People’s Coordination for Democratic Rights -- Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to go it alone in Bodoland Territorial Council polls scheduled for April this year.

“It is just the first step towards consolidating our foothold in Bodoland area before the 2016 Assembly polls in Assam. We have been enthused by interests shown in our party by a larger section of Bodo society who are looking up to the BJP as an alternative to the corrupt BPF and rag-tag political combination of Bodos and non-Bodos, PCDR,” said Mriganka Barman, state BJP’s in-charge in Bodoland areas.

Twenty-two important political and social leaders of Bodoland areas including BPF leaders Mono Kumar Brahma, Malatairani Narzary, Parameswar Brahma, Bibhuti Borgayari, Kartik Bodo, Vikram Islari, Dntiram Brahma joined the BJP in a grand ceremony held at Kokrajhar in presence of four senior BJP MPs from Assam, Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Welfare, Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam state BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharjya.

Besides BJP leader, there were former leaders of All Bodo Students’ Union, social leaders of other ethnic communities from Bodoland who were among those who joined the BJP.

It is construed to be a set-back for the BPF president and BTC chief executive member Hagrama Mohilary given that Mono Kumar Brahma who joie the BJP was known as his right-hand man and a brain behind formation of the BPF, a political party formed by former militants of Bodo Liberation Tiger after signing of Bodo Peace Accord in February, 2003 with the then BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in the Centre.

The BPF by virtue of its alliance with the ruling Congress in Assam for over a decade, has ensured that Congress base in Bodoland area is wiped out, but now BJP making inroads into Bodoland as a force BPF’s dream run in BTC is under threat. 

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