Updated: April 2, 2021 5:35:27 am
The “maha jhooth” (grand lie) of the ‘Mahajot’ (Congress-AIUDF alliance) will suffer a “maha haar” (grand defeat), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told a massive election rally in Kokrajhar, the headquarter of the Bodoland Territorial Region in western Assam.
“Congress and its ‘mahajot’ have been shown the red card again,” said PM Modi, while adding that people believe in the NDA for peace and security in Assam. “This election is between Mahajot’s maha jhoot and double engine’s maha-vikas,” he said, referring to BJP-led governments at the Centre and state. “For sustained development in Bodoland, our mantra is peace, progress and protection,” he said, while alleging that the Congress encourages encroachers and divides communities.
The BJP has repeatedly alleged that Badruddin Ajmal and his party AIUDF encourage unauthorised migration from Bangladesh. “Those people whom the Congress had protected earlier for its vote bank, today the Congress is dreaming of grabbing power with their help,” Modi said on Thursday.
Modi talked about a video in which the Assamese gamusa was “insulted” and said those who love Assam were “angered and hurt” by the video. It was ostensibly a reference to a tweet by CM Sarbananda Sonowal containing a video purportedly showing Ajmal at an election rally while hastily throwing the gamusa at someone.
The Bodoland region, where a peace agreement was signed with insurgent Bodo outfits last year, is said to roughly translate to at least 15 Assembly seats and goes to polls in the third phase on April 6. The political dynamics have recently shifted with the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), an ally of the BJP in the outgoing state government with three ministers and led by influential Bodoland leader Hagrama Mohilary, aligning with the Congress’s ‘Mahajot’.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday issued a notice to senior Assam minister and key BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by threatening to put Mohilary in jail through a NIA case.
After the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections last year, the BJP broke ties with the BPF and formed the ruling alliance in the BTC with the regional United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) — although it was the BPF that won the single largest number of seats, 17; with the UPPL winning 12 and BJP nine out of 40 seats.
In the region, the UPPL is contesting on eight seats and the BJP on four — but the parties are in ‘friendly contests’ on three seats.
Garnering votes of the Bodo community through the alliance with the UPPL, while battling Mohilary’s influence will be the BJP’s biggest challenge in this crucial part of third phase.
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