In a major development, Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary on Saturday announced that it is quitting the alliance with the BJP and will join the Congress-led coalition.
“To work for Peace, Unity, and Development and to bring a stable government, free from corruption in Assam, the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH. BPF shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP. In the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election BPF shall work hand to hand with Mahajath,” BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary said in a statement on Facebook.
Notably, the BPF had won 12 of the state’s 126 seats in the last assembly elections and joined the BJP-led alliance. But the BJP later dumped the BPF and joined hands with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) to gain a majority and rule the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
Last year, BPF emerged as the single-largest party in the BTC polls in December, winning 17 seats in the 40-member body.
Earlier this month, Assam cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made it clear that the ruling BJP will not have any alliance with the BPF in the upcoming assembly polls in the state.
“We have been telling it many times that our alliance with BPF was for five years only and both sides were committed to it. They are still in our government and it is healthy politics,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP is currently the single largest party in the 126-member Assam house with 60 MLAs, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BPF now have 13 and 11 lawmakers respectively.
It may be noted that Congress will not be going solo against the BJP for the first time. The party has allied with once arch-rival – Badaruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is also likely to come to into alliance with Congress.
The 126-seat Assam assembly elections will be held in three phases starting March 27 through April 6. The results will be declared on May 2.