Exactly a month before Assam goes to polls, the Bodoland People’s Front on Saturday severed its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party and announced that it will fight the Assembly elections as part of the Congress-led “Mahajath” (grand alliance).
“To work for Peace, Unity and Development the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH in the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election,” BPF President Hagrama Mohilary tweeted on Saturday evening. “We shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP.”
The party had won 12 of the state’s 126 seats in the last Assembly elections in 2016 and joined the BJP-led alliance, according to NDTV. More recently, the BPF emerged as the single-largest party in the Bodoland Territorial Council elections, winning 17 seats in the 40-member body. However, the BJP ignored the BPF and formed an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal which had won 12 seats, to form the new council, according to India Today. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced UPPL chief Pramod Boro as the new Chief Executive Member in the council, NDTV reported.
The development came after months of discord between the BPF and the BJP, as four districts that came under the council were placed under the Governor’s rule after local polls, which were scheduled to take place in April, were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Once the polls eventually took place in December, the BJP chose to ally with the United People’s Party Liberal. Earlier this month, BJP leader and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that it will not have an alliance with the BPF in upcoming Assembly polls, NDTV reported.
However, till Friday, the BPF remained a part of the BJP-led state government, which also has Asom Gana Parishad as an alliance partner. The Mohilary-led party will now fight the elections along with Congress and five other parties, who are part of the Grand Alliance.
The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to polls in three phases on March 27, April 1, and April 6. The results will be out on May 2.