Assam Cabinet proposes Governor’s Rule in BTC till elections

GUWAHATI: The Assam Cabinet has recommended proclamation of Governor’s Rule in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) till the elections are held in the council.

The Council of Ministers, in a meeting chaired by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal here on Thursday, further requested the State Election Commission to complete the election process in BTC by December 15, 2020.

The Cabinet had, in its previous meeting earlier this month, approved holding of the BTC elections in December.

Elections to the 40-member autonomous council, covering the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri – now collectively called Bodoland Territorial Region, were earlier scheduled for April 4, 2020, but had to be deferred indefinitely in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BTC had come under Governor’s Rule for the first time on April 27, 2020 when the five-year term of the council expired.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi had assumed the BTC administration from that day “in exercise of powers vested in him under paragraph 16 (2) of the Sixth Schedule.”

The Cabinet meeting also approved exemption of sand, steel, bitumen etc, to be used in the construction of the proposed Majuli bridge, from state GST (goods and services tax), royalty and local taxes.

The CoM decided that the state government would bear the cost of land required for the approach roads of the proposed bridge.

The Cabinet also decided to give ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of Raben Das, the constable who died while apprehending cattle smugglers recently.

The CoM meeting further decided to provide funding to gaushalas (traditional shelters for abandoned cows) to fill up the gap in funds required to feed cows.

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