|BPF facing tough challenge|
GUWAHATI, April 2 – For the first time since the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in 2003, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) is facing tough challenge in the elections to the council as national parties, like the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are actively participating in the polls, while the Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF) and a number of other parties and organisations have formed a common platform to pose a challenge to the ruling party.
The BPF has been heading the BTC since its formation in December, 2003, first on an ad hoc basis and then the party won the two elections in 2005 and 2010. For the first time, the BPF is facing a major challenge in the polls to the Council as the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) is also actively campaigning for the candidates fielded by the common platform.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, BPF spokesman Khampa Borgoyari admitted that the BPF is facing a challenge, but at the same time, he claimed that the party would be able to retain power. He said that anti-incumbency is a factor, but he claimed that since the formation of the BTC, some major development works were carried out in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area as there were marked improvement in the condition of the roads and bridges. He said that a university, an engineering college and a Central institute of technology have been formed, while the BTC has been putting pressure on the Central and State governments for setting up of a medical college.
Borgoyari admitted that the BPF suffered a major setback in the last Lok Sabha election, but added that Lok Sabha elections cannot be equated with the BTC polls. He said that different communities thought that a non-Bodo Member of Parliament would be better able to fulfill their aspirations and that is why an Independent candidate was elected from Kokrajhar. But the situation is different in the BTC elections, as the people would vote for development, he added.