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Cong-BPF bond like pure ghee: Gogoi

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi addresses the open session of the BPF convention at Gossaingaon on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Kokrajhar, Dec. 23: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said the Congress-BPF relationship was like pure ghee and the two would continue to work for the development of the people.

Addressing a huge public gathering at the open session of the fifth annual convention of the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) at Gandhi Nagar under Gossaigaon sub-division in Kokrajhar district, Gogoi, the chief guest, said the Congress-BPF alliance was still strong. At times, there were differences of opinion, which is normal in a family, he added.

He said the Congress-BPF coalition had changed the scenario in the state and was marching ahead on the path of development in every sector.

He, however, did not say anything about an alliance with the BPF for the ensuing Lok Sabha election. In 2009, the Congress had not fielded any candidate in Kokrajhar parliamentary constituency, leaving the seat to BPF, though the two parties had fielded their own candidates in Mangaldoi, the other seat the BPF had fielded candidates from.

BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyary said the convention had discussed strengthening the party outside the BTAD to field suitable candidates in the election.

Gogoi said there were some sections of people who didn’t want progress and development in the area and, therefore, tried to divide communities. He lauded Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary, who is also the BPF president, for his development work in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD).

Gogoi said decentralisation of power to every community would bring development in the state. Hence development councils had been formed. He said he had supported the BTC Accord as “there were issues about development of culture, language, literature, ethnicity and customs, which can’t be done by Dispur and Delhi”.

Mohilary stressed the need for transparency in implementing development work in all the 39 departments of the BTC. He said departmental review committees would be constituted to annually review the development work.

The BPF submitted a 25-point charter of demands to the chief minister. These include direct transfer of funds to the BTC for all centrally sponsored schemes, grant of Rs 5 lakh to riot-affected families, laying of a railway track parallel to Indo-Bhutan foothills in the BTAD, declaration of sub-divisions under the BTC as civil districts and handing over of Orang National Park to the BTC. It also sought establishment of a government degree college at Tamulpur, Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres at the district headquarters of BTC technical institutes and new police stations.

Assam transport and tourism minister Chandan Brahma said there should be a stable government for development of the region and assured the people that the BPF would fulfil the hopes and aspiration of the people in BTAD.

Thousands of people thronged the four-day convention, which concluded today. BPF leaders, delegates, workers and the people from across Assam participated in it.

Lok Sabha MP Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary, Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary and MLA Pramila Rani Brahma were among those who attended the convention.