GUWAHATI: THE paradox of a non-Bodo MP from Assam’s Bodo heartland — Kokrajhar Parliamentary seat — is likely to continue. Sitting Kokrajhar MP, Naba (Hira) Sarania, has worked to keep intact the advantage of consolidated non-Bodo communities as his main vote bank, while two Bodo political parties fight to split votes to Sarania’s advantage.
In the 2014 polls, Sarania, who had contested as an independent, had won with the support of various non-Bodo organisations. The former leader of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) — an insurgent group — is set to reap the advantage yet again.
He is contesting as an Independent again with the backing of some influential non-Bodo organizations, of which, the All Koch Rajbangshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) has lauded him for raising the issues of non-Bodo communities in Parliament.
“We have no doubt that he will retain the seat. He raised the issues of non-Bodo communities in Parliament. He was also instrumental in establishing peace in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Areas District),” AKRSU president Arun Ray said.
The BTAD, which is made up of four Lower Assam districts and administered by Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), has seen some bloody ethnic riots in the past.