GUWAHATI, March 14 - The BJP will put up candidates in all the 40 constituencies of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) for the April 4 elections and the party is optimistic of forming the next government there.
However, the saffron party�s alliance with the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) will continue at the State level.
Addressing the media here today, senior BJP leader and Minister of State for Irrigation Bhabesh Kalita said that the party will announce its list of candidates for the BTC elections on March 16.
�We have an alliance with the BPF at the State level and BPF has three representatives in the State ministry. In the Rajya Sabha elections also we have a seat-sharing arrangement with the BPF,� Kalita said.
�Our alliance with BPF will continue at the State level. However, the BJP, AGP and BPF had earlier contested the panchayat elections separately. Likewise, in the BTC elections also we are contesting on our own with the mindset to form our government in Bodoland,� he said.
�We have decided to contest in all the 40 constituencies of BTC... Over 400 party cadres have applied for ticket,� he added.
The last date for filing of nomination papers is March 18.
Kalita claimed that the BJP will secure a majority of its own and form the next BTC government.
Asked if the BJP is looking to sidelines the BPF, he said, �There is no question of sidelining the BPF. Our alliance will continue in Dispur and Delhi.�
Kalita said that BJP�s main electoral plank will be maintenance of peace in BTC, continuation of the development process in the region and making it even faster, and ensuring equal opportunity for all communities.
He said that the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned a lot of new schemes and projects for the Bodoland region. �The Modi government has opened the road for maintenance of peace in Bodoland,� Kalita added.
To a question regarding the possibility of the BJP joining hands with the United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL) in BTC, he said, �The elections are yet to be held. Let us wait and see what changes emerge in the political environment.�
On the other hand, the Congress and the AIUDF will contest the forthcoming BTC polls together.
�We will have an understanding in the BTC polls (with AIUDF). I am not saying that we will do very well or that we will secure a majority, but we will try to put up a good fight,� said former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Meanwhile, sources said that Congress is likely to contest around 13-14 seats, while the AIUDF is likely to field candidates in 7-9 constituencies.