Guwahati: Bogged down by political isolation in western Assam, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has extended a hand of friendship to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in an obvious bid to return to ruling BJP fold as an ally after walking out of the Congress-led “Mahajot” (Grand Alliance) which came into existence just before the Assembly elections in March this year.
A few days ago Assam Congress decided to sever ties with AIUDF. The exit of BPF, another big ally, has come as a major setback to the alliance of Opposition political parties just before bypolls in six Assembly constituencies in Assam.
BPF general secretary Prabin Boro told reporters, “We met the chief minister on Friday and submitted a friendship proposal to the BJP. We have conveyed to him that BPF no longer wishes to be in the Opposition. Rather, we are interested to be with the government and work together for the people. Therefore, we want to be an ally of the BJP.”
He further said, “The chief minister told us that he wants to have an inclusive government and if someone wants friendship with BJP, the party will deliberate on it. Though he has said nothing directly, we are optimistic.”
However, Assam minister Pijush Hazarika on Saturday clarified that BPF joining the ruling alliance would not affect their alliance with United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) which has been ruling the Bodoland Territorial Council Area. "In the larger interest of the people, the BJP would like to unite the like minded forces to protect and defend the interest of Assam,” he said.
For close to 20 years, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) had been the biggest political outfit in Bodoland Territorial Council Area of western Assam. In December 2020, the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) with the help of BJP managed to wrest control of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), which was under BPF control for 17 years.
The BPF also received a major political setback in Assembly polls this year with UPPL-led by Pramod Boro winning six of the 12 seats in the BTC area. The BPF, which had won all the 12 seats in the past three elections, had to be content with just four while the BJP made its presence felt by winning two seats.
The BPF was also part of the BJP-led coalition in the state and had three ministers in the previous BJP-led alliance government in the state. The party parted ways with BJP in the BTC polls in December and in the Assembly elections it joined the Congress-led alliance. The BJP joined hands with UPPL.