NATIONAL

Assam’s BTAD might see Governor’s rule

Polls were deferred due to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may earn Governor’s rule for the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) in Assam.

The State’s Governor is the constitutional head of the BTAD that falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and is administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

The BTAD covers four districts of western and northern Assam.

Elections were scheduled to be held for the BTC on April 4 but was deferred indefinitely in view of the pandemic.

The council’s current term expires on April 27.

Some political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), do not want the term to be extended.

After a meeting with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal last week, a BJP delegation met Governor Jagdish Mukhi and sought imposition of Governor’s rule in BTAD.

The delegation argued that the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath would make it impossible to hold the elections in the near future.

The BJP rules Assam in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which has been ruling BTC since its creation in 2003.

The All Bodo Students’ Union, an influential organisation, has also appealed against extending the council’s term.

The BPF, on the other hand, wants the term extended by six months or elections held soon.

Party leader and Social Welfare Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said the election can be conducted as BTAD does not have a single COVID-19 case.

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