New Bodo accord is a non-entity: BJP's ally in Assam

New Bodo accord is a non-entity: BJP's ally in Assam

Photo: Hagrama Mohilary.

Weeks after the Centre signed the new Bodo accord with an aim to end militancy in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, Bodoland People's Front (BPF), an ally of the BJP-led Assam government called it a non-entity and unacceptable.

"The new accord just changes the name of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) to Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and gives us nothing. We can’t accept this accord,” BPF chief and chief executive member of BTC, Hagrama Mohilary said in a statement.

The MHA on January 27 signed the BTR Accord with all four factions of insurgent group NDFB, All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) and United Bodo People's Organisation with an aim to end the 34-year-long insurgency that witnessed over 4,000 deaths. It agreed to redraw the BTR map by excluding the contagious non-Bodo villages, promised to accord the Bodo language as an associate official language in Assam and announced a special financial package of Rs. 1,500 crore for taking up socio-cultural and developmental activities in BTR in the next three years.

Interestingly, Mohilary, who also signed the BTR Accord as a witness had earlier welcomed it and even requested the Centre to withdraw cases pending against the NDFB members. 

"The BTR Accord was signed only as per the draft of demands prepared by the ABSU and NDFB(P), keeping the intellectuals and the BPF in the dark. Had there been discussions over the draft of the charter of demands, the effectiveness would certainly have been better," Mohilary further said.

Mohilary, the former chief of Bodo Liberation Tigers (now disbanded), a militant group had entered politics and became BTC chief after signing a similar accord with the Centre in 2003. 

Mohilary's criticism of the new accord comes days after BJP decided that it would not forge a pre-poll alliance with BPF and would contest the BTC elections on its own. Elections for the 40-member BTC is scheduled on April 4.

Sources said Mohilary started criticising the new accord as United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) led by former ABSU president Promod Boro aims to unseat BPF from BTC. Former NDFB leaders like Gobindo Basumatary and B R Ferenga are also contesting elections as UPPL candidates. 

Mohilary, however, exuded confidence that BPF would retain power for the fourth consecutive term as it had "relentlessly" worked for peace and development in the region.

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