BJP releases manifesto for BTC polls, promises land pattas to non-Bodos

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HT Correspondent

KOKRAJHAR, Nov 27: The state BJP on Friday released the election manifesto for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls slated on December 7 and 10.

The manifesto gave top priority to the implementation of all clauses of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Accord signed between the Centre, state governments, All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), United Bodo People’s Organisation (UBPO) and four factions of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) in New Delhi on January 27, this year.

It also promised for inclusion of Bodo-majority villages in the BTR and exclude non-Bodo settlements from it, as per the BTR Accord.

The manifesto further promised increasing the existing 40 seats in the BTC to 60 in the BTR, besides reorganising the constituencies.

The manifesto stated that the Bodo and Assamese language will be given equal importance and both the languages will be taken forward simultaneously.

Releasing the manifesto in a function at Triveni Bhawan here in presence of Pradesh BJP resident Ranjit Kumar Dass, BJP national general secretary Dilip Kumar Sakia and former Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary, senior BJP leader and state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma spelt out several key features of the election manifesto.

While referring to the BTR Accord, Sarma said that they would go ahead with the provisions of the Accord and make provisions for bordering villages to either to be included in the BTR or be excluded from it.

Sarma also said that now that the BTC council seats are going to be increased to 60, they would be making provisions to make sure that the various communities of the BTAD areas be represented. The BJP would be opting for the delimitation process to ensure that all the communities are represented properly.

The BJP is also promising to do away with the Central Selection Board calling it an unconstitutional body and stated that they would make provisions for local district bodies to make hirings and not depend on any central body. Sarma also stated that the BJP would be giving 10 percent reservation to economically weaker sections of the society in the BTAD areas.

He said that this reservation would be given apart from the caste-based reservation already provided under the provisions of the constitution. The BJP also plans to give out land pattas for people to buy and sell landed properties within the BTAD areas.

Sarma said here that the permission to buy and sell land within the BTAD areas would be allowed within a month’s time. Sarma also gave out some other features of the BJP manifesto.

He said that apart from the implementation of various central schemes of development in the BTAD areas, job cards for MGNREGA would also be issued by the BJP. He also said that religious sites of various communities residing within the BTAD would be developed by the BJP. Sarma also said that the BJP would go ahead with the creation of a new district of Tamulpur out of the present district of Baksa if it comes to power.

The BJP has been involved in a whirlwind campaigning for the BTC elections scheduled for next month. Sarma has been spearheading the campaigning in the BTC areas even as the BJP is posing as a primary opponent to the Hagrama Mohilary-led Bodoland People’s Front.

Notably, BJP is contesting in 26 constituencies and extending support for an independent candidate at Srirampur constituency in the upcoming elections.

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