BPF will retain power in BTC with 25 seats: Hagrama

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‘ABSU compromised with statehood demand keeping Bodo people in the dark’

By Sandeep Sharma

KOKRAJHAR, March 24: “We will form the government in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). We will be winning in 25 to 30 seats,” claimed Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief and Bodo People’s Front (BPF) president Hagrama Mohilary.

The elections to the 40 constituencies of BTC was slated for April 4, but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in the state. It is expected that the elections will be conducted at the end of April if the outbreak can be checked.

“We are fighting the poll in alliance with BJP and AGP. We leave two seats for BJP and one for AGP, where there is possibility of winning. We will continue the alliance with BJP and AGP in the next elections also,” Mohilary told a group of newspersons here on Monday.

When asked why the BJP has fielded candidates in all 40 seats and AGP failed to turn up to file candidature for the lone seat, Mohilary said, “BJP is the big brother for us. We are younger. BJP is a national party. It is their decision. We have nothing to speak on this.”

He said that United People’s Party of Liberation (UPPL) will be the main opponent for them in the elections and claimed that BPF will regain power in the council.

Coming down heavily on All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), Mohilary said the ABSU under the leadership of former president Pramod Boro has deviated from its original demand for separate state for Bodos.

“Our Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma had started the movement for a separate Bodoland state in the 80s. It was carried forward by the leaders of the student body in later years. But Pramod Boro has compromised with the statehood demand leaving the Bodo people in the dark,” Mohilary said.

“They have signed the agreement with the government for Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). They suspended statehood movement. The positive outcome of the agreement is that all four factions of NDFB have come to the mainstream. But we have not launched the agitation for flyover, road connectivity or some educational institutions. Bodo people have been fighting for separate Bodoland,” he said.

When asked whether he justified the demand for separate Bodoland or not, Mohilary said, “This is not the right time for achieving the goal. We do not have the infrastructure for granting a separate state. But we have to utilise the resources and go ahead with the development process for a separate state. It may take 54 years also. But we should not give up on our objective”.

“You see what was the condition of the roads before we came to the power in 2003. In the past 17 years, we have taken some bold initiatives to improve the road connectivity of BTAD with the rest of the state. We have been successful in developing the infrastructure of the region,” he claimed.

“Pramod Boro was planning to join the BJP after the agreement. But later he turned down the offer. They will all join the BJP if they win the polls,” he said.

“The agreement was supposed to be signed with the four factions of NDFB. But Promod Boro was hijacked for it. He thought if the spotlight fell on NDFB, he will be isolated. So he entered into politics,” he said.

“Our objective is to create peace in BTAD taking confidence into all the communities. BPF is not working only for Bodos, but for all the communities living here,” he claimed.

“We are also planning to form separate development councils for the non-Bodo communities living in BTAD. All the communities will have separate councils for their welfare and development. We want to go hand in hand with all the people including their caste and community,” Mohilary said.

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