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BJP emerges as 'king maker' in Bodoland Council polls in a fractured mandate

BJP, which contested the election with a target to unseat Bodoland People's Front (BPF), got a boost as nine of its candidates made it to the council
Last Updated : 13 December 2020, 03:39 IST

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BJP emerged as the "king maker" in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections in Assam, which is seen as "semi-final" to next year's Assembly elections as the polls resulted in a fractured mandate.

Counting of the ballots continued till late Saturday night.

BJP, which contested the election with a target to unseat Bodoland People's Front (BPF), its ally at the state level since 2016, got a boost as nine of its candidates made it to the council. BJP had won only one seat in 2015 BTC elections.

The ruling BPF headed by former insurgent leader Hagrama Mohilary emerged as the single largest party by bagging 17 seats, four short of the magic mark of 21. The party had won 20 seats in 2015. The United People's Party Liberal (UPPL), another regional party, with which BJP is likely to join hands, won 12 seats.

Congress managed only one seat while another went to Gana Shakti Party, a small party led by Lok Sabha member from Kokrajhar and former Ulfa commander Hira Sarania.

Elections for 40 seats of BTC, an autonomous and self-governing council under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, comprising four districts in Assam was held in two phases on December 7 and 10.

As the situation stands, neither BPF nor UPPL can form the new council without support of BJP. Leaders of the saffron party, which already met UPPL leaders on Saturday night indicated that the saffron party would back UPPL to form the new council. "We have achieved our targets to unseat BPF and become the king maker. Now just wait for the final decision," a BJP leader said.

The BPF, led by Mohilary has been in power in BTC since its formation in 2003. The party, this time, however, was facing a stiff competition from UPPL, which gained strength after several influential leaders joined it after signing the new Bodoland Accord in January this year.

The BTC election this time was interesting as BJP fought the elections with a target to unseat its ally BPF.

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Published 12 December 2020, 14:40 IST

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