Election to Bodo council unlikely before December: Himanta

GUWAHATI:  The election of Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is unlikely to be held  before December because of the pandemic situation.

The election to the BTC scheduled for April this year had to be put off because of the COVID19 pandemic.

Assam Health Minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “From the Health department, we have informed the State Election Commission that there can be no elections before November 30. Our team will observe how the Bihar state polls are held amid the pandemic, and depending on that experience, we may take a call, but not before December.”

He said the Chief Minister, Sarbannda Sonowal was scheduled to hold an all-party meeting over the poll issue soon and discuss the matter with all concerned.

On implementation of the fresh Bodo accord signed in January this year, Dr Sarma said measures were being adopted to take it forward and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had a detailed discussion on it with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal when the latter had met Shah at New Delhi on September 20. Dr Sarma was also present in that meeting.

As per the Bodo accord, the Assam governor has approved the re-naming of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts, consisting of the four districts of Chirang, Baksa, Kokrajhar and Udalguri, as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

The minister further said a four-member committee has been formed for implementation of another clause of the accord under which villages with over 50% Bodo population excluded from BTR can approach for inclusion under the Region, while villages with more than 50% non-Bodo inhabitants can apply for exclusion.

“These villages, whether for exclusion or inclusion, have to be on the peripheries of the BTR,” he added.

The committee which will be chaired by former Assam Chief Secretary P P Verma, will also recommend on increasing the number of seats in the Bodo Autonomous Council from 40 to 60 as well as delimitation of the constituencies.

Other members of the Committee will be incumbent BTC administrator Rajesh Prasad, ABSU and representative Jayanta Bodo and representative of non-Bodos from BTC Dalim Bayan.



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