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BPF legislators resign from ruling coalition

Kokrajhar, June 27: BPF legislators holding portfolios in the Assam government submitted their resignations today, a day after party president Hagrama Mohilary pulled out of the Congress-led ruling coalition ending eight years of alliance.

Assam transport and tourism minister Chandan Brahma tendered his resignation directly to chief minister Tarun Gogoi while parliamentary secretaries Rakeshwar Brahma and Maneswar Brahma and Warehousing Corporation chairman Rihon Daimary faxed their resignation letters, sources said.

“I tendered my resignation to the chief minister around 2pm,” Brahma told The Telegraph over phone. Asked about his next course of action, he said, “It will be decided by the party.”

Party spokesperson Prabin Boro said they would work to strengthen the party for the BTC election next year and the Assembly election in 2016.

On a tie-up with the BJP, he said, “We have not thought about it yet. We will take a decision when the time comes. Now our strategy is to strengthen the party for the BTC election.”

Mohilary had severed ties with the ruling Congress yesterday, alleging Dispur’s “step-motherly attitude” and its failure to provide security to the people of the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD).

He alleged that Dispur had never given “importance to our voice” despite the BPF being an ally of the Congress in the government. He said it was “meaningless to stay in the government” as the Congress has not been able to protect the life and property of the people in the BTAD. He said the continuing extortion, killings and abductions had affected the BPF badly.

The announcement was made after a meeting with party legislators, Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary, BTC executive members and other senior leaders. He asked party MLAs holding portfolios in the state government to tender their resignations.

The announcement comes within a week of chief minister Tarun Gogoi saying on June 21: “If anyone wants to go, how can I stop them?”

Gogoi was reacting to BPF spokesperson Boro’s statement made the previous day that the 2012 ethnic riots and the killings in the run-up to declaration of Lok Sabha results in May this year had put the alliance under strain.

The BPF decision is unlikely to affect the Tarun Gogoi government as the Congress has more than the required numbers in the 126-member House. The party has 77 MLAs while the BPF has 11.

The BPF and the Congress have been allies since 2006. The support of the BPF, which had 10 MLAs then, had helped the Congress form a stable government in the state for five years. The alliance continued in 2011 Assembly polls, when the Congress won 78 seats and the BPF 12.

Lakhipur Congress MLA Dinesh Prasad Goala died in April this year while BPF’s Hitesh Basumatary quit the party in 2012.

The alliance, under strain for sometime, appeared to reach the snapping point when a section of Congress leaders alleged the involvement of BPF leaders in the violence in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts this May that witnessed the massacre of at least 40 people by suspected NDFB (Songbijit) militants.

Sources said the change of guard in Delhi had hastened the break-up.

Before the Lok Sabha polls the BJP had said it supports the demand for smaller states, something the BPF and other Bodo parties are pursuing diligently.

Mohilary had earlier hinted they would back any party which formed the government at the Centre.

Last week, Boro had said, “We have been discussing our support to the Congress among ourselves. It would not be surprising if the party supports the BJP in the 2016 state Assembly polls.”


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