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MP to raise Bodoland din

New Delhi, Feb. 13: The lone MP from Bodoland Territorial Areas District in the Lok Sabha is ready to raise his voice for a separate state on the lines of Telangana but not raise a stink like some Seemandhra MPs did today.

“I have always raised the (Bodoland) issue and am going to raise my voice again. But I am not going to do what happened today. We are civilised and humble,” BPF MP Sansuma Bwiswmuthiary said, indicating what he thought of the pepper spray incident in the Lok Sabha.

Bwiswmuthiary has been an aggressive MP and is seen by many as capable of holding fort alone in the Lok Sabha. He has often held up proceedings to press for demands from the Bodo area.

The difference between Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who used the pepper spray, and Bwiswmuthiary’s demand is that Rajagopal is against creation of Telangana while the BPF and other Bodo groups want bifurcation of Assam.

The Centre’s decision on creating Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh has given a fresh impetus to the movement for Bodoland in Assam.

Earlier this week, All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) had held up rail traffic on the single track connecting the entire Northeast.

The Centre is aware of the impact the creation of Telangana will have in Assam where groups are demanding states like Kamtapur, Bodoland and a separate state for Dimasa and Karbi ethnic groups.

Fearing a backlash, the Union home ministry has “invited” the All Bodo Students’ Union for a tripartite meeting on February 21. The Centre is unlikely to give in to any of these demands. And even if it considers division of Assam once again, there is little likelihood of Assam MPs protesting the way the Seemandhra Congress MPs and Telugu Desam have done.

Rajagopal and other anti-bifurcation MPs from Andhra Pradesh today disrupted the Lower House proceedings to prevent introduction of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.

“The Assam MPs, in any case, do not have the heart to do it,” quipped All Bodo Students’ Union president Pramod Boro.

“They (the Centre) are not serious and are perhaps inviting us simply for a cup of tea (on February 21),” Boro said.

He said the students will call for a 100-hour stop-railway campaign once the class X and XII examinations are over in mid-March.

Security agencies are most sensitive to free movement by railways to the Northeast, which is connected with the rest of India by the chicken’s neck. The strategically important region that has international borders with China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar has a national highway and the railways as its only supply lines from “mainland India”. Boro said the national highway would be kept open.