Bodo accord 'engineer' likely to play a larger role in Assam’s Bodo politics

ABSU president, Pramod Bodo, may have resigned mysteriously soon after the signing of Bodo Accord but not without an apparent chance of assuming a larger role in Bodo politics.

Published: 15th February 2020 05:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2020 05:07 PM   |  A+A-

Pramod Bodo (Screengrab)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The ruling BJP in Assam is eying the hero of Bodo peace accord process in order to clinch a victory in the upcoming Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) elections.

All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) president, Pramod Bodo, may have resigned mysteriously soon after the signing of Bodo Accord but not without an apparent chance of assuming a larger role in Bodo politics.

The ABSU is a powerful student body which, under Pramod’s leadership, was seemed to have brought the four factions of erstwhile rebel group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) under a single umbrella to sign the third Bodo peace accord with the Centre in New Delhi on January 27.

While there are too many leaders like the BJP’s current ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary and among the various signatories of the accord, the BJP would need a popular face that could lead a campaign at the hustings. Pramod is widely seen to be that face.

With the BTC elections expected in April, the BJP is weighing its options on the issue of alliance and it, ostensibly, will not mind ditching the BPF if that reaps dividends. The BPF has been ruling the BTC ever since its creation in 2003 in the aftermath of the Centre’s signing of the second Bodo peace accord with erstwhile insurgent group Bodo Liberation Tigers.

“We are going to grab power in the BTC along with the BPF or with the new political party,” BJP’s Assam unit chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass asserted.

His statement comes amidst speculations that the four NDFB factions and the ABSU will together float a political party. They met recently, strengthening the speculations.

Observers, closely following Bodo politics, say there could be two possibilities; either the NDFB factions and ABSU will float the party or they will join the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), which is headed by former Rajya Sabha member UG Brahma.

“The Hagrama-led BPF has a solid support base in the Bodo areas and I feel if all of them, including UPPL, come together, only then they will have a chance to defeat the BPF,” an observer, who refused to be named, told this newspaper, adding, “Their unison will be a reality only if the leaders of the groups renounce individual lust for power”.

Hagrama, a former rebel leader-turned-politician, knows it well that he is facing a challenge from Pramod as evident from his diatribes at the former ABSU leader.

“Pramod Bodo spoke only lies when he was in the ABSU. He will speak more lies if he comes to power,” Hagrama said two days ago. Pramod retorted: “Hagrama Mohilary is the new Mahatma Gandhi in the world. He is the only one who speaks the truth”.

The BTC partially administers four lower and northern Assam districts such as Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri, all of them falling under Bodoland Territorial Area Districts. The Council has 46 seats, most of them reserved for tribals.

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