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BTC Cong flouts diktat

Kokrajhar, March 9: The BTC Congress has gone against the party high command and decided to field its own candidate from the Kokrajhar parliamentary seat.

Earlier, the state Congress had decided to leave the seat for its ally, the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF). But the BTC Congress decided otherwise at its co-ordination committee meeting yesterday in Kokrajhar.

“The BTC Congress co-ordination committee has decided not to support the party decision. We will field our own candidate in Kokrajhar,” Chandi Basumatary, Assam PCC secretary and chief co-ordinator of the BTC Congress co-ordination committee, told The Telegraph,

“Maintaining an alliance with the BPF is unfortunate and will break the spirit of the party in the region,” he said.

To protest the decision, the BTC Congress co-ordination committee has been dissolved and Basumatary has resigned as chief co-ordinator.

On Friday, the central election committee of the Congress had decided to contest from 13 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam — leaving Kokrajhar for the BPF. In 2009, the Congress had won seven Lok Sabha seats from the state and the BPF one.

BTC Congress leaders said party workers were disappointed that despite a strong hold in Kokrajhar, the seat was left for the BPF.

Basumatary threatened that party workers in the Bodoland Territorial Council region would resign en masse if the party does not change its decision and field a candidate in Kokrajhar.

BTC Congress leaders accused chief minister Tarun Gogoi of having a soft corner for the BPF and going against the party’s interest.

The Bodoland Peoples Front is likely to declare its candidates for the Kokrajhar and Mangaldoi constituencies on March 26.

BPF party president and BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary said candidates from his party would win from both Kokrajhar and Mangaldoi with large margins.

The BTC chief said the BPF would work for peace, unity and development of the region. He also welcomed the constitution of the one-man expert committee of former Union home secretary G.K. Pillai to study the viability of creation of a separate Bodoland.

Mohilary also said initiatives would be taken to dispel the apprehensions of different communities regarding creation of Bodoland.