By Digambar Patowary
Guwahati(Assam), Mar 14 :With the days approaching for the election of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), all political parties have geared up their respective organizational activities in Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD), the areas under the territorial council’s jurisdiction. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , the ruling political party in Assam has also geared up to make its foothold convincingly in BTAD.
The political arithmetic in BTAD has been changing fast after signing of peace accord between Centre, Assam government and four factions of insurgent outfits of National Democratic Front of Boroland ( Ndfb).
BJP MP of Mangaldoi constituency Dilip Saikia said that his party’s position in BTAD areas has been improved in last five years due to the party’s relentless effort in strengthening organizational base .
“ A political development in BTAD is certain that no political party will form the next council without support of BJP. BJP will be a key player in formation of the next council in BTAD ”, said Saikia.
Saikia said that in all the four districts under BTAD – Udalguri, Baska , Chirang and Kokrajhar , BJP has got good response from both tribal and non tribal people in last three years with joining of thousands of people every month.
Though BJP’s hold in Bodo tribal areas in BTAD is less significant but the saffron party has been able to woo non Bodos to its fold in the region. The party has strengthened its base in areas of BTAD where majority population is Hindu Bengali, ‘Gorkhas and Nepalis’ and Adivasi communities. Among Assamese speaking people in BTAD areas, BJP has improved its organizational bases in recent times.
“We have fair chance to win in 15 constituencies in the BTC poll. No other political party has organizational base stronger than us in these constituencies of BTC”, said Saikia, some of these constituencies also falls under his Parliamentary constituency.
The BPF’s main rival in BTC, the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) has gained new momentum for the next BTC polls after joining of Promod Boro ,former president of All Bodo Students’ Union ( ABSU) to the party.
Though BPF is the alliance partner of BJP in Assam , the UPPL is also trying forge an alliance with the ruling BJP for the BTC polls slated to be held on April 4 next.
“A decision on alliance with any political party for the BTC election will be taken soon. We will have a special meet on BTC election . All the district unit presidents of four BTAD districts will also be present in the meeting”, Saikia added.
Though Bodo is the single largest community with 28 percent of total population in BTC, the rest 72 percent population are the non Bodos. In five out of 40 constituencies of BTC, religious minority people are decisive factor for any candidate’s win in the council election.
BJP’s ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) led by Hagrama Mohilary is ruling the council since 2005. In 2005 and 2010 BPF was part of the congress led government in Assam, in 2014 before Lok Sabha polls the party parted ways from congress. In last Lok Sabha election the BJP has left the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha seat to BPF.
In last BTC poll in 2015, BPF had faced some stiff challenges from its rivals but Hagrama Mahilary led party had romped back to power in council winning 20 out of 40 seats. BJP in last BTC election opened their accounts in the Council with one seats. In non Bodo dominated Nagrijuli seat, BJP candidate had won the election. BJP had contested all the 40 seats.