NEW DELHI, Jan 3 - In a season of political realignment, the BJP and BPF may formally seal a deal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s ensuing visit to Kokrajhar on January 19.
According to BJP sources, negotiations between the national party and the ruling Bodo party are close to forming an alliance for the 2016 Assembly polls. The BJP and BPF are negotiating seat-sharing arrangements for 16 Assembly seats. The BPF has 12 MLAs in the current Assembly, while it lost the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha seat to Naba Sarania. Mangaldai Lok Sabha seat where the Bodos have a considerable sway is held by Ramen Deka of BJP.
Sources indicated that the Prime Minister during his Kokrajhar visit may announce an economic package to mark the forging of electoral alliance. He is also scheduled to visit Guwahati and take part in a BJP convention. The Centre is currently working on the economic package that the Prime Minister is likely to announce, said sources.
The BPF had submitted a list of demands including sanction of Rs 5,000-crore grant spread over the next five years. �Our politics is nothing but development of BTC areas. If the BJP-led NDA Government supports us, our people would be happy and in that case we have no problem in supporting the BJP,� Rajya Sabha MP Biswajeet Daimary had told this newspaper after meeting the Prime Minister.
BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary had told newsmen that they discussed development issues and security of tribal people. �If the NDA Government releases the required funds, we will consider supporting the BJP,� he had said.
The BPF which had played a key role in supporting Tarun Gogoi Government had on June 2014 parted company after eight years of alliance. Chairman of BPF Hangrama Mohilary had blamed the Congress Government for its lackadaisical attitude towards them. �Fund allocation is not proportionate to the population. The present Congress government has not cooperated at all with us in all round development of the BTAD. There is no point in continuing in this government if we cannot fulfil the aspirations of the Bodo people.�
However, there is division within the BJP also over forging of alliance with BPF, with a section insisting that the national party should instead opt for an alliance with BPPF, which has the backing of All Bodo Students Union and other influential organisations and has strong support base in the North Bank.
�I have pointed out to BJP State president Sarbananda Sonowal about the advantages of joining hands with BPPF but the decision is for the Party�s central leadership to make,� a BJP Lok Sabha MP told this newspaper.
Meanwhile, the BJP is still holding backdoor negotiations with AGP to work out an alliance with the once-influential regional party. A senior AGP leader who was in Delhi last week ruled out the possibility of AGP joining hands with the Congress Party, pointing out that the regional party was born out of an anti-Congress movement.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani had invited us and offered to mediate. As Jethmalani had helped us a lot during the Assam agitation, we came and listened to him,� said the leader who did not wished to be named.
Central BJP leaders, said sources are keen that BJP and AGP forge an alliance ahead of the polls.