The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) has invited Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Tejashwi Yadav to be the chief guest for Bodoland Accord Day celebrations on February 10.
The BPF may have severed ties with Assam’s ruling BJP after the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election in December, but it remains an ally in the Assembly. The RJD, on the other hand, is aligned firmly against the BJP after the bitterly-contested election in Bihar in October-November last year.
The RJD, which has so far flourished under Mr Yadav’s leadership – it won 75 seats in Bihar to emerge as the single-largest party – is planning to contest between 25 and 30 seats in Assam, which votes for a new Assembly in April.
“Since BTC was created on February 10, 2003, the day is celebrated every year as Bodoland Accord Day by BPF. This year also BPF is going to celebrate… at Bishmuri in Kokrajhar district, with a gathering of lakhs. I would like to request (that) you kindly grace the programme as Chief Guest,” the BPF’s letter to Tejashwi Yadav, written by leader Hagrama Mohilary, said.
Mohilary was also one of the signatories of the accord.
An ex-member of the Bodoland Liberation Tigers (BLT), Mohilary and others laid down arms in 2003 to sign the accord that created the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts.
“Since the creation of BTC, the BPF – a regional political party – ruled BTC till 2020. During this period the BPF could, in a real sense, create a peaceful atmosphere.. bring the people closer to each other and work for accelerated development,” Mohilary wrote.
In January last year the centre signed another accord – with the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, another armed outfit in the region. Under this accord thousands laid down arms, and the centre agreed to reconstruct the Council and its boundaries.
The BJP had ditched the BPF in 2015 – a year before the last Assembly election – during BTR elections, where the BPF had ruled for three consecutive terms since its inception and forged an alliance with United People’s Party (Liberal) and the Gana Suraksha Party to form the council in the four BTR districts – Udalguri, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baksa
“Fourth BTC general election was held on December 10, 2020. In this election the BPF won 17 of 40 seats. However, despite winning only nine seats the BJP formed the government forcefully by horse-trading…compelling UPPL (12 seats) and two others to join them (and) disrespecting the mandate of the people. The people of Bodoland stand against discriminatory, communal, and religious fundamentalist organisations like BJP,” Mohilary wrote.
The BJP recently said it would contest the Assam election with the UPPL as its ally.