BJP alliance to get 30-40 seats in Assam second phase: BPF

Dadgiri (Assam): Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) chief Hagrama Mohilary predicts that the BJP-led alliance in Assam will secure 30-40 of the 61 seats in the second phase of the assembly elections to be held on Monday. Mohilary, a former insurgent leader, said this to IANS after addressing a public rally on Saturday in the remote Dadgiri area along the India-Bhutan border in Chirang district. Campaigning for BPF candidate Chandan Brahma, also a former militant, Mohilary said there was "no anti-incumbency factor" against him in the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) areas and that the BJP will win all the 13 assembly segments there. "There is nothing except BPF in Bodoland. We are going to win all the 13 seats where we have put up candidates," said Mohilary. "We have forged an alliance with the BJP this time for development in Bodoland areas. I have been meeting many BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. They have assured us of all cooperation in developing the Bodo areas in Assam," he said. The BPF was a partner in the Congress-led state government since 2006 and BPF leaders were given cabinet berths in the Tarun Gogoi cabinet. However, relations between the Congress and the BPF soured in 2014, forcing the Bodo party to sever its ties. The BJP is in alliance with another regional party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). While the AGP was in power for two terms, the BPF runs the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) that administers four districts -- Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri. The first phase of the assembly polls on April 4 recorded a turnout of 82.20 percent. There is apparently an anti-incumbency factor against the Congress in Assam, which is in power since 2001, and the BJP hopes to make it big this time. The BPF had earlier sought a special package Rs.1,000 crore from the central government for its support. The Congress, on the other hand, has forged an alliance with the United Peoples' Party (UPP), another local party from Bodoland.