The newly constituted Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam is yet to start functioning in full swing a week after its formation on Monday as elected members from the ruling alliance of the BJP, the UPPL and GSP are away on “sightseeing” and a high court ruling on the validity of the council is expected Tuesday.
Out of the 40 elected seats in BTC, UPPL won 12, BJP nine, GSP one, Congress one and BPF 17 seats. The BPF — Bodoland People’s Front — is an ally of the BJP in the state government and there are three ministers from the party in the Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet. But the BJP did not ally with the BPF, against which it had campaigned vociferously, and joined hands with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL). The lone Congress candidate and a winner from the BPF have joined the BJP since.
After the results to the BTC were out on December 13, over 20 of the winning members of the BJP-UPPL-GSP alliance were put up in a hotel in Guwahati and shifted to the Assam Bhavan in Shillong on Sunday. The BTC headquarters is in Kokrajhar, about 225 km away from Guwahati. The move to shift them to hotels was undertaken, according to sources, to avoid the winning candidates to be poached by the BPF.
“Our elected representatives are on a sightseeing tour. They will be back soon. We are not scared,” said Promod Boro, who leads UPPL and is the newly appointed Chief Executive Member of the BTC, said.