The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), an ally of the BJP-led NDA in the outgoing Sarbananda Sonowal government in Assam with three ministers, on Saturday announced departure from the alliance to join the Congress-led ‘grand alliance’ in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
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“To work for Peace, Unity, and Development and to bring a stable government, free from corruption in Assam, the Bodoland Peoples’ Front has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH [grand alliance]. BPF shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP. In the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election BPF shall work hand to hand with Mahajath,” BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary posted on different social media platforms.
Welcoming the move, Pradyut Bordoloi, Congress MP and key leader, tweeted that the BPF and the Congress are “old friends”. He stated, “Congress is coming and we are proud to partner with the BPF.”
The BJP has already said it will not have any alliance with BPF in the Assembly polls.
The BPF was part of the Congress-led government in Assam in 2006 and 2011 and parted ways during the 2014 General Election.
In this year’s election, the Congress and AIUDF, together with three Left parties and a regional party, have announced a grand alliance. On Saturday, RJD leader and Bihar Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, who was in the state, announced that his party would also be part of the alliance, and is in talks to field candidates on a few seats with substantial population of Hindi speakers.
“I have come to Assam to help in whatever way possible to ensure that communal forces do not come to power in any way possible,” he said.
In the 2016 elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly, the winning alliance comprised BJP (60 seats), BPF (12) and AGP (14).
BPF general secretary Prabin Boro told The Sunday Express, “We will certainly contest and win the 12 seats we have. In addition, we will see where else to contest.”
Boro said the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) translates broadly to around 16 Assembly seats.
The elections to the BTC were held in December last year. Out of 40 elected seats in the Council, UPPL won 12, BJP nine, GSP one, the Congress one, and BPF 17 seats.
The BJP joined hands with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), thereby indicating a rupture in the alliance, and reaped political benefits of a peace and development accord signed with Bodo insurgent outfits in early 2020.