HC seal for Guv Rule in BTC; BJP, UPPL hail verdict

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, July 13: Gauhati High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) challenging Governor Jagdish Mukhi’s decision to bring the administration of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) under his control after expiry of the term of the council on April 27.

The election to 40 seats of BTC was scheduled on April 4, but was postponed by State Election Commission (SEC) due to Covid-19 pandemic in the state.

Dismissing the petition filed by BPF executive members Jagadish Sarkar and Nerswn Boro, the High Court has allowed the Governor to continue his rule in BTC.

The High Court passed the order on the basis of an interlocutory application filed by UPPL member and rights activist Prithibiraj Narayan Dev Mech in the court.

Former BTC chief and BPF president Hagrama Mohilary had opposed the decision to impose Governor’s rule in the BTC and tweeted, “Due to the Covid-19, the elections to the BTC have been postponed. In this time of emergency, people here need our government more.”

“But instead of extending the term, the Honourable Governor has given the charge of the BTAD to the principal secretary of Assam. We strongly oppose this decision and filed a petition in Gauhati High Court against this order,” he had added.

Under the leadership of Mohilary, the BPF has been in power in BTC since 2003. The party is also an ally of the BJP-led government in Assam of which Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is also a part.

Reacting on the court order, former BTC executive member and senior BPF leader Doneswar Goyary said, “We are not happy with the order. Our party will decide the next course of action soon.”

Bodoland Students Union (BSU) president Swgwmshar Basumatary has expressed unhappy over dismissal of BPF’s plea and said that court verdict was unfortunate and unwanted.

The order of the High court was welcomed by Pradesh BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and said it would further strengthen the democracy in the council.

Immediately after the court’s order, BPF’s arch-rival United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) spokesperson Prithviraj Narayan Dev Mech said, “It’s the beginning of the end of BPF rule. People have cursed them for their misdeeds and soon they will be thrown out of power too.”

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