Buzz over President’s rule in BTC
With uncertainty looming large over elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council, there is widespread speculation that the BTC, comprising Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri districts, may come under President’s rule to be administered by the governor after the expiry of the five-year term of the present Bodoland People’s Front government on April 27.
The elelction, scheduled to held on April 4, was indefinitely postponed by the state election commission because of the coronavirus outbreak.
United People’s Party Liberal president Pramod Boro said the pandemic was an issue of national importance and “Election is not a priority, but saving lives is”.
Assam PCC president Ripun Bora had exhorted governor Jagdish Mukhi on Friday to take over charge of the administration of the Bodo belt after April 27 and “preserve the sanctity of the Constitution”. Anticipating that the state government may suggest that the governor extend the term of the council by six months under the provision of Para 2 (6) A of the Sixth Schedule, he said according to legal experts such power can only be used at a stage before the declaration of the polls.
Kokrajhar Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania, who heads the Gana Suraksha Party, had also written to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mukhi on April 7, exhorting the governor to take over charge of the administration.
A source in Dispur said it was unlikely that the region would see an election soon.
Political analyst Zakir Hussain said, “The postponement was necessary because of an unprecedented global situation. People’s health must be the top-most priority. Elections at this moment will be detrimental to public health and to the free and normal exercise of the right to vote.”