The breakup between the allies was in offing for some time, as BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced two weeks ago that the saffron party will not be renewing its alliance with the BPF
Bodoland People’s Front, a key National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner in Assam, severed ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday and announced that it will instead join hands with the Congress-lead Grand Alliance or Mahajath.
The Kokrajhar-based BPF has 12 seats in the current Assembly and three ministers in the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government.
BPF president Hagrama Mohilary shared the party’s decision on Twitter:
To work for Peace, Unity and Development the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH in the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election. We shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP.
— Hagrama Mohilary (@HagramaOnline) February 27, 2021
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi welcomed the move stating that he was grateful for BPF’s renewed trust in Congress.
In every corner of Assam, trust means Congress. The favourite party of the Bodos, the Bodoland People’s Front, agrees! We are grateful for the renewed trust Shri Hagrama Mohillary has shown in the Congress. #BPFWithCongress #Mahajot101 https://t.co/xc8aPMd255
— Gaurav Gogoi (@GauravGogoiAsm) February 27, 2021
Congress Campaign Committee Chairman Pradyut Bordoloi also welcomed BPF into the Congress fold.
“The Asom Basao Ahok Yatra has had such massive impact across the state that our old friends, the Bodoland People’s Front, could see which way the wind is blowing. Congress is coming and we are proud to partner with the BPF,” Bordoloi said.
The Congress, which was in power for 15 years in Assam since 2001, has formed a “Grand Alliance” with AIUDF, CPI, CPM, CPI(ML) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) to contest the upcoming assembly elections.
The breakup between the allies was in offing for some time as BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced two weeks ago that the saffron party will not be renewing its alliance with the BPF.
“We have been telling it many times that our alliance with the BPF was for five years only and both sides were committed to it. They are still in our government and it is healthy politics,” the BJP leader said.
The relations turned sour during the recent Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections, with the saffron party dumping the BPF and forming the council government in alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) to rule the BTC, a self-governing body in the Bodo-dominated areas of the state.
BPF had emerged as the single-largest party in the BTC polls, winning 17 seats in the 40-member body in December last year.
At the time BPF president Mohilary had said that his party had repeatedly appealed to the BJP to follow the “coalition” norms and help it to form a “government” in the BTC, but the BJP ignored the pleas.
The saffron party is now in talks with UPPL and GSP for a seat-sharing arrangement for the Assembly polls. Elections in the northeastern state will be conducted in three phases on 27 March, 1 April and 6 April.
Assam is likely to see a three-pronged contest with the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) — formed by former members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other civil society groups — joining hands with the Raijor Dol formed by the supporters of noted anti-CAA activist Akhil Gogoi who is in jail for over a year on sedition charges.
With inputs from PTI
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