Assam: BJP not to renew alliance with BPF, says Sarma

Assam: BJP not to renew alliance with BPF in 2021 Assembly polls, says Himanta Biswa Sarma

BJP made a seat-sharing arrangement with BPF and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) before 2016 Assembly elections

Assam minister and BJP's strategist in the Northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The ruling BJP will not renew its alliance with Bodoland People's Front (BPF) in the Assembly elections slated early next year, Assam minister and BJP's strategist in the Northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday.

"BJP will contest the 2021 Assembly elections on its own here too. There will be no alliance with BPF this time," Sarma told a crowd at Saraibeel in western Assam's Kokrajhar district while campaigning for elections to Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), an autonomous council, which would be conducted on December 7 and 10. 

BJP made a seat-sharing arrangement with BPF and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) before 2016 Assembly elections and formed the first coalition government in the state. BJP had won 86 of 126 Assembly seats while BPF bagged 12 in 2016, all under BTC areas. 

BJP has already announced that it would repeat the alliance with AGP in 2021 but its relations with BPF turned sour after it decided not to have a similar seat-sharing arrangement for BTC elections. BJP is contesting in the BTC elections without any pre-poll alliance.

BJP, particularly Himanta, in fact, has been levelling allegations of "large scale" corruption against BPF chief Hagrama Mahilary, who has been heading the BTC since its formation in 2003. Sarma alleged that Hagrama and his team have committed "large scale corruption" while implementing the government schemes and swindled crores of money released to BTC in the past 15 years. 

"The government-sanctioned crores of money to BTC. Where has the money gone? Hagrma and BPF leaders must tell the people. The state government is constructing the roads, bridges, giving homes, pension to the aged and the widow, what has BTC done with the money sanctioned to them? The job cardholders have not been paid their full money, those given homes and pension under the government scheme even had to pay money to BTC. Enough is enough. This can not go on. Once BJP comes to power, we will take action against BPF's corruption and put all into jail," Sarma told the crowd while asking people to defeat BPF in the BTC elections.

Sarma's announcement comes on a day the state election commission declared that the BTC polls would be conducted in two phases on December 7 and 10 while counting will be done on December 12. The BTC election was earlier slated on April 4 but had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.