Bodo council chief Hagrama Mohilary flays accord, says Bodos had not fought for factory, flyover, NIT
Mohilary slammed United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) chief Pramod Bodo, who is a former leader of All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), for the “raw” deal and for doing politics for personal gains.
GUWAHATI: Criticising the third Bodo peace accord, signed in January and dubbed by many as “historic”, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary said the Bodos had not fought for a railway factory, a flyover and a National Institute of Technology (NIT).
“By signing this accord, all that the Bodos are going to get are a railway factory, a flyover, an NIT, a road connecting two districts etc. That is not what the Bodos fought for. Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma had launched the Bodo movement to achieve a separate Bodoland state. All Bodo organisations know this,” Mohilary told this newspaper.
He slammed United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) chief Pramod Bodo, who is a former leader of All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), for the “raw” deal and for doing politics for personal gains.
“Pramod Bodo had lobbied in Delhi to ensure that the accord is signed with him. His commitment to the government was that he would toe its lines. As a result, he dumped the greater interest of the Bodos which is a separate Bodoland state,” Mohilary said.
He said Pramod Bodo’s plan was head an interim government in the BTC that he thought would be in place as an outcome of the peace accord.
“He thought there would be an interim government in the BTC after the signing of the accord. His idea was to capture power and then merge himself with the saffron party. That was the commitment given to him. But it didn’t happen,” Mohilary said.
Elections to the 40-member autonomous body BTC, scheduled for April 4, were deferred indefinitely in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The contest this time around is expected between Mohilary’s BPF and Pramod Bodo’s UPPL.
Mohilary, who has been serving as the chief of the BTC ever since its creation in 2003, said the accord was to have been signed with the four factions of erstwhile insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) but Pramod Bodo had hijacked it to protect his interests and importance.
There are speculations that Pramod Bodo has been pitched by the BJP. He had joined the UPPL as its working president just days after signing the peace accord. Then in no time, he was elevated to the post of party chief. The BJP is an ally of the BPF in Assam’s ruling alliance but it appears that the saffron party will align with any of the two regional parties that will be in a position to form the BTC.
Mohilary is not perturbed that the BJP ignored his BPF and kept its options open for post-poll alliance.
“BJP and AGP (Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) are our allies in the state government and the alliance will remain. BJP is a national party and it can do politics by taking along other parties. I cannot stop them,” he said.
The BPF offered two seats to the BJP and one to the AGP. However, the BJP asserted that it would contest in all 40 seats. It has already declared the names of 25 candidates.
Mohilary committed that if the BPF was voted to power, a development council would be created for each of the 14 communities in the BTC. Non-Bodos make up around 70% of the BTC’s population. The BTC administers four districts of western and northern Assam.