Other States

Ally BPF dares BJP to drop its Ministers from Assam Cabinet

Assam Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, one of the three Bodoland People’s Front nominees in Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s Cabinet. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The upcoming Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections in Assam have driven the wedge between allies Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) deeper. The two parties are contesting the elections to the 40-seat tribal council scheduled in two phases on December 7 and 10 separately.

The leaders of the BPF have been challenging the BJP to drop its three Ministers in the Cabinet besides slamming Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for betraying the trust and trying to endanger the future of the Bodo tribal people in their own domain.

The three BPF Ministers in the Sarbananda Sonowal government are Pramila Rani Brahma, Chandan Brahma and Rihon Daimary. The BJP’s other regional ally, the Asom Gana Parishad, also has three Ministers.

“The BJP claims our party is corrupt and misruled the BTC. Our Ministers can walk out of the alliance but we are waiting for the BJP to take the step so that all regional parties know how the BJP uses and throws out the smaller parties according to its convenience,” BPF general secretary Prabin Boro said.

He also said the BJP would not be able to weaken the BPF despite taking away two of its senior leaders — former Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary and MLA Emmanuel Mushahary.

While campaigning for the BJP a few days ago, Dr. Sarma had said his party would not be renewing its alliance with the BJP after the term of the alliance government ends. He also advised the BPF to read the writing on the wall.

The BJP hopes to win at least 22 of the 27 seats it is contesting.

The BPF is contesting all the 40 seats as is its regional rival United People’s Party Liberal comprising former leaders of the All Bodo Students’ Union and the factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland that had signed the Bodo Peace Accord in January.

The Congress, which had been the BPF’s ally until before the 2016 Assembly polls, is contesting 13 seats and the All-India United Democratic Front seven.

Because of their alliance with the BPF, the Congress and the BJP had stayed away from the BTC all these years. Both the mainstream parties have been promising equal land rights for the non-Bodos, who together are an overwhelming majority and a potent electoral force.

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution was tweaked to form the BTC, where the rights are allegedly tilted toward the Bodos.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:29:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-ally-bpf-dares-bjp-to-drop-its-ministers/article33205546.ece

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