As the BJP begins working on its strategy for the Assam Assembly polls, the state unit appears keen to claim some of the seats held by its key alliance partner, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP ), while his ties are strained with another ally. , Bodoland Popular Front (BPF).
The only BPF member Rajya Sabha is on the verge of joining the BJP and the regional party is engaged in a bitter struggle with the Saffron party in upcoming Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls.
The current political situation in Assam was discussed Friday evening in a two-hour meeting attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP Chairman JP Nadda, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP General Secretaries BL Santosh and Dilip Saikia, State BJP Head Ranjit Dass, Assam Minister and Organizer of the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Himanta Biswa Sarma, among others.
Dass said that since the assembly elections are only four and a half months away, the central and state leadership of the BJP has discussed various aspects of the polls and government-related issues.
“They also took stock of organizational issues and the strength of our partners in the AGP and BPF alliance,” he said.
The BJP state president said that during the meeting, the state leadership informed the central leadership that in some of the assembly seats currently occupied by the AGP, the BJP was growing stronger. .
The AGP contested 24 constituencies in the state’s 2016 assembly polls and won 14. The BJP currently has 61 MPs.
“We also informed that in some seats the AGP has become weak and in some seats it is strong.
“In the recent panchayat elections, in some of the AGP General Assembly seats, the BJP performed better than the AGP. Many BJP candidates won the panchayat elections in these assembly constituencies held by the AGP. ”So we informed them of our stand up, Dass said.
Asked whether the meeting discussed continued relations with BPF, Dass said he informed BJP central management that BPF was losing ground in the BTC area.
“After the BTC surveys, we will empty our stand. BPF will also clean their stand. We informed the central management that the BJP is popular within the BTC, ”he said.
BPF had fought in 12 seats in 2016, winning all of them. The AGP and BPF each have three ministers in the Sonowal government.
Himanta Biswa Sarma also claimed that the BJP will seize power from BTC after polls in the Autonomous Corps.
“Since we win the BTC elections, where is the question of the alliance? The BJP will form the government at the BTC, ”he said.
The BTC, composed of 40 members, is an autonomous body created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Its two-phase elections will be held on December 7 and 10. BPF, led by Hagrama Mohilary, has been in power at BTC for 15 years.
Sarma also said BJP chairman Nadda had given his approval for the formal membership of BPF’s lone MP Rajya Sabha, Biswajit Daimary, into the BJP.
Practically closing the doors to the BPF, Sarma said the BJP would run for the 12 Assembly seats, currently held by the Bodo party, in next year’s Assembly polls.
BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary had recently criticized Sarma, saying his “bullying attitude” would not be entertained in the BTC area.
Questioning the BJP government, Mohilary said the Center was supposed to give Rs 1000 crore to the BTC area, but he only got Rs. 600 crore.
“Once the BTC elections are over, we will form the government at BTC, and we will decide who we want to be with,” he said.
Dass said the central leadership of the BJP will meet with the leadership of the AGP and BPF and make a final decision on the future of the alliance.
He said BJP president Nadda will visit Assam on November 26-27 and hold virtual election meetings with party stand workers, MPs, ministers, MPs, board members, presidents district and social media workers on preparations for assembly elections.
Sources said Union Home Secretary Amit Shah will also likely visit Assam on November 28 and interact with party workers.
Speculation is raging in Assam that the United People’s Liberal Party (UPPL), another Bodo group, could join the BJP-led alliance after BTC polls.
Asked about his comments, UPPL leader and former Rajya Sabha MP UG Brahma said: “At the moment our priority is the BTC elections, which we will win. We don’t know about the future.
The UPPL is fighting in the 40 seats of the BTC.