Assam BJP to urge high command to review ties with BPF

 GUWAHATI: Assam BJP has decided to urge the central leadership to review the alliance with Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) struck ahead of the state Assembly elections in 2016.

According to the state party hierarchy, a proposal to review ties with BPF would be placed in the party’s central committee meeting in New Delhi on Friday.

A delegation comprising chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Cabinet minister and party’s key strategist in the Northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma along with state party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass would be meeting the national party high command at the national capital to discuss its strategy for the 2021 Assam Assembly elections

The ruling party’s need for an alliance review with BPF comes less than three weeks ahead of the 40-seat Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections.

BJP and BPF, which has been in power since the council was formed in 2003, are contesting the BTC polls separately and are in for a straight fight.

Currently, leaders of the two parties are pulling out all the stops in a campaign of one-upmanship to woo the electorate ahead of the two-phase polls starting December 7.

Asked about his comments on the equation with BPF ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls, senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said the party was currently focussed on winning the BTC elections even as he hinted at contesting the Assembly polls without allying with BPF.

“BJP and AGP (which is in alliance with the government) will be contesting the Assembly polls together,” Sarma told the media on Thursday.

In regard to tickets for the Assembly polls, he said candidates with better prospects of winning would be eligible for tickets.

Surveys on the performance of sitting MLAs are underway as part of the process to determine eligible contenders for tickets.

In regard to the BTC elections, he said the party would resume campaigning in Bodoland Territorial Region from November 22 after a three-day break in view of Friday’s key meeting with the central party leadership in New Delhi.

“We are working towards formation of a BJP-led BTC as we have the support of the people of BTR,” Sarma said.

BPF currently has 12 MLAs in the 126-member Assam Legislative Assembly and three ministers in the incumbent coalition government.

State BJP president Dass, had in fact disclosed before the media about the party’s intention to snap ties with the BPF, saying the reconsideration of ties with the ally was based on the situation ahead of BTC polls. “At a time when we are contesting the BTC polls alone, continuing the alliance with BPF (with whom BJP is contesting in a straight fight) will send a negative message,” he said.

Das however said that the party high command would take a call keeping in mind the equations ahead of the Assembly polls in mid-2021.





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