Ruling BJP’s estranged ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has broken ties with the saffron party. The party will now join the Congress-led coalition, BPF President Hagrama Mohilary announced on Saturday.
“To work for Peace, Unity and Development the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH in the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election. We shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP,” Mohilary tweeted.
This comes a day after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.
“In Assam, elections shall be held in three phases. The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to polls on April 1. Forty Assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6. Votes will be counted on May 2,” Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said on Friday.
For the uninitiated, the BJP had scripted history in the last assembly polls and formed the government for the first time in the state ending Congress’ 15-year rule. BJP and its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) had won a combined 86 seats in the 126-member Assam Assembly. BJP bagged 60 seats, AGP 14, and BPF 12 seats.
But late last year BJP dumped BPF and picked up a new partner United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) to gain majority and rule the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), a self-governing body in the Bodo-dominated areas of the state. However, BPF emerged as the single-largest party in the BTC polls, winning 17 seats in the 40-member body.
Earlier, the BPF had decided to contest the assembly polls alone despite offers from the Congress-led opposition alliance and regional front of two parties. The party is reportedly again going to contest all 12 seats in the Bodoland area, which it won in 2016.