The Bodo People’s Front (BPF), which has been controlling the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) since the first election held in 2005, has emerged as the largest party in the recently concluded elections, with only one seat short of a simple majority. While elections were held for 40 seats, the BPF won 20 in comparison to 33 it had won in 2010.
BPF chairman Hagrama Mohilary said the BPF would form the council for the third consecutive term, this time taking support of some independent members. While the BPF won 20 seats, the People’s Committee for Democratic Rights (PCDR), an umbrella of body of several organizations backed by the all Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) won seven. The BPF, which had had a cakewalk in the 2005 and 2010 Council elections, faced a tough contest this time, especially from the PCDR.
The AIUDF too has made its entry into the Bodoland Territorial Council by winning four seats, and the BJP one. While seven independents backed by the Abodo Suraksha Samiti have also made it to the Council apart from one unattached independent, the Congress, AGP and CPI(M) have all drawn blank.
This was the first time since formation of the BTC following the Bodo Accord of 2003 that national parties like the Congress, BJP and CPI(M) had contested in the elections. The AGP had won one seat in 2010, but drew blank this time. The BTC has 46 members, of which 40 are elected and six nominated from communities that remain unrepresented.
Failure of the Congress to win even one seat and that of the BJP to make any major presence in the Bodoland Council have both proved that the Bodos continue to remain detached from national or even regional parties. The BPF, which was an ally of the Congress party in the state assembly since 2006 had withdrawn support to the Congress after it lost the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha seat to a former ULFA leader backed by the Sanmilita Janagosthiya Aikyamancha, a platform of non-Bodo communities living in the four districts that constitute the Bodoland Council.