Kokrajhar, May 28: The nascent Bodo People’s Progressive Front (BPPF) tonight appeared set to take control of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) as poll results for the council seats started pouring in.
Despite stiff competition from dissident candidates, the BPPF could bag 12 seats out of the 19 for which results were declared. Independents have won four, Congress-backed candidates got two seats and the AGP one.
The victorious Independents, incidentally, are dissidents who were denied tickets by the BPPF and supported by former BLT chief Hagrama Mohilary. Despite being a BPPF candidate himself, Mohilary is backing his former comrades-in-arm who are contesting against candidates of the party.
Elections were held for 40 seats on May 13. While five candidates have been declared winners uncontested, counting in two seats were withheld.
Counting for 33 seats began this morning amid tight security. The fate of two candidates in Banargaon and Dotoma are hanging in the balance with the state election commission yet to take a decision on whether to go for a re-poll. There were reports of massive rigging in the polls for the two seats.
Former Absu leader and BPPF president Rabiram Narzary, who is a strong contender for the post of the BTC chief along with Mohilary, is contesting from Banargaon.
According to trends available from the other 14 seats, BPPF-backed candidates are leading in 10, a Congress-backed Independent in another while in the remaining three, Mohilary-backed Independents have taken the lead.
The elections for the council exposed the rift in the BPPF formed by former BLT militants along with Absu leaders. Three executive members of the ad hoc BTC were among the prominent losers. They are BPPF candidates Bishiram Narzary (Baukungri), Badon Hasda (Srirampur) and Niren Roy (Turibari).
Prominent winners include former BLT secretary and BTC member Derhasat Basumatary of BPPF who defeated Deolsing Basumatary (Independent) by over 20,000 votes from Salakati.
Mohilary (Debargaon), his deputy Chandan Brahma (Kajalgaon), Kampha Borgoyary (Chirangduar), Sobaram Basumatary (Kachugaon) and Rajen Narzary (Soraibil) have already been declared winners uncontested. All are BPPF-backed candidates.
Following largescale violence during the polling, the district administration made elaborate security arrangements to ensure a violence-free counting.