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BJP dumps ally in Assam, picks up new partners to rule autonomous body

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: December 13, 2020 20:48 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday decided to dump its alliance partner Bodo Peoples' Front to join hands with the United Peoples' Party Liberal and the Gana Suraksha Party to form the next Bodoland Territorial Council after the just concluded polls threw a hung House, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.

The 40-member new Council will be headed by UPPL chief Promode Bodo, Sonowal told reporters after a meeting with the representatives of all the three parties.

Congratulating the UPPL and the BJP unit in Assam for securing a majority in the Council polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted Sunday that the National Democratic Alliance is committed to serving the people of the Northeast.

Union home minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman were among several national leaders who congratulated the new alliance in achieving a comfortable majority in the council.

The 21-newly elected BTC members belonging to the BJP, UPPL and the GSP later went to the Raj Bhavan to submit their claim to form the council to governor Jagadish Mukhi.

The members, led by the UPPL chief, were accompanied by North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma.

 

The governor is currently away at Chennai and the claim letter was received by his Commissioner and Secretary Meenakshi Sundaram.

Sarma told reporters that the file will be sent to the governor and if he finds it satisfactory, he will direct the Chief Secretary to initiate the formation of the new council.

He said that they are hoping that the new council will be assuming office by December 15.

Asked about the alliance with BPF, Sarma said that the people of BTR have voted for change and they cannot go against their wishes.

Regarding the tie-up with the BPF in the state government, Sarma said it was made for five years from 2016 and it will continue till the next assembly elections are held.

Bodo told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan that the people of BTR have bestowed on them the responsibility to bring about a change and they will do so with full commitment and sincerity.

He said that as the new Chief Executive Member his priority will be to ensure a corruption-free council and to take all communities together so that they can live in peace and harmony.

The UPPL has won 12 seats with Bodo winning from two seats and the total members of the new alliance is thus 21 and the seats won is 22.

The election to the council was held after a fresh Bodo Accord was signed in New Delhi on January 27 by the leaders of all four factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland -- then All Bodo Students Union chief
Pramod Boro, then BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The Assam chief minister thanked the people of the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri, comprising the Bodoland Territorial Region, for ensuring a peaceful election.

Established in February 2003, The BTC has 40 elected members and an additional six members that are appointed by the governor of Assam.

The decision on formation of the council was taken following deliberations since last night among North East Democratic Alliance convenor and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP President Ranjit Dass, BJP national general secretary and Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia, UPPL chief Promode Bodo and GSP chief and Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania.

The BPF has emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats.

BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary had earlier in the day appealed to the BJP to extend its support to form the council as both parties were still in alliance in the state and at the centre.

The BPF had headed the council for the last three terms with Mohilary as its Chief Executive Member.

Sarma, who led an aggressive campaign during the polls, tweeted that the party was blessed to have an exemplary leadership at the top that gives us the guidance, enthusiasm and spirit to pursue the ideals set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"This victory is yet another step towards taking Assam and North East to new heights of prosperity," Sarma said.

The BTC elections has assumed particular significance in view of the state assembly elections likely to be held next year with all the 14 seats from the four districts currently held by the BPF.

The BPF had joined hands with the BJP before the 2016 assembly polls to form the government and three of its MLAs-Pramila Rani Brahma, Chandan Brahma and Rihon Daimary are currently ministers in the Sonowal cabinet.

The elections to the BTC, held in two phases on December seven and ten with 78.89 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise, were earlier scheduled on April four but the Assam State Election Commission had deferred the polls on March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second time that the BJP broke its ties with a coalition partner in recent times.

In 2018, the saffron party pulled the plug on the Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal themselves have walked out of the NDA in the past one year.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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