BTC Polls: New Alliance on the Cards as BJP May Join UPPL

The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to partner with the People’s United Liberal Party (UPPL) to take over the Bodoland Territorial Council.

His alliance partner, Bodo People’s Front (BPF), who fought at the polls separately and is engaged in a bitter war of words with the BJP, won 17 seats in the 40-member Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls, four less than the majority mark of 21.

The UPPL won 12 and BJP 9, allowing the two parties to form a stake for the post of council president. Congress and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) each won one seat, officials said Sunday.

In 2015, the BPF came to power for the third time in the BTC by winning 20 seats, independent candidates won 15 seats, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 4 and the BJP won one seat.

BJP National Chairman JP Nadda tweeted: ‚ÄúCongratulations to UPPL, NDA Partner, and Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam’s Chief Minister) for winning the majority in the Assam BTC elections. The results show people’s faith in the leadership and policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “

The survey was carried out in four districts of the Bodoland territorial region, comprising Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksha and Udalguri. In total 23.87.422 electorates exercised their right to vote in the two voting rounds on December 7 and 10.

The counting of the polls began on Saturday and continued until Sunday morning.

This was the first survey conducted in Assam since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary won from the Debegaon seat, while UPPL candidate Ukil Mushahary won the Kachigaon seat. Prominent losers included outgoing Executive Vice President Khampa Borgoyary, BPF member Shyam Chundi and the four AIDUF acting members lost the polls.

Despite being alliance partners, both the BPF and the BJP fought in the BTC polls independently. On the other hand, the BJP and the UPPL indicated a possible post-electoral pact, although no formal alliance between them has been announced so far.

When asked, BJP Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters that they would announce their decision on the formation of the council after discussing with Chief Minister Sonowal later on Sunday.

This poll was seen as a semi-final contest among political parties ahead of the assembly elections in Assam, which were supposed to take place in March-April 2021.

The BTC poll followed a new Bodo Accord that was signed by the four factions of the Bodoland National Democratic Front (NDFB) in New Delhi on January 27.

Sonowal, the then head of the Bodo Student Union (ABSU), Pramod Boro, and the then head of BTC, Hagrama Mohilary, signed the agreement.

The survey was supposed to take place on April 4, but the schedule was postponed until March 20 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Submission of nomination papers followed by scrutiny was completed on March 20.

The term of the Chamber ended on April 27 and the administration of the Council passed to the government of the governor.

(PTI inputs)