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BPF sets conditions to support BJP Assembly polls

By KALYAN BAROOAH
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NEW DELHI, Dec 5 - The BJP and the Bodo People�s Front (BPF) inched closer towards clinching a political deal ahead of the Assembly elections, with the Bodo

leaders today calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

�Our politics is nothing but the development of the BTC area. If the BJP-led NDA Government supports us, our people will be happy and in that case, we have

no problem in supporting the BJP,� Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary told this newspaper after meeting the Prime Minister.

What set the rumour mill rolling was the presence of Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also the BJP�s State

unit president, and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is considered close to BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, in the meeting with the Prime Minister. The BTC delegation

included deputy chief Kampa Borgoyari, besides Daimary and Hagrama.

The BPF, which has been sending mixed signals to the Congress and other Opposition parties, seems to have made up its mind to align with the BJP-led NDA. But

the alliance will come at a cost as the BTC leaders today presented a wish list to the Prime Minister for extending their support to the BJP.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, State BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Government was positive and would try its level best to solve

the problems in the BTC area.

Daimary said that the issues should be resolved. �We have no problem in supporting the BJP and the NDA if this is done,� Daimary said. �We have 10-12 seats

and we will extend support to the BJP if the people are satisfied with the NDA Government�s role,� he added.

The BPF demanded a special package of Rs 5,000 crore spread over five years. The BTC leaders demanded the release of Rs 1,000 crore annually for the next

five years.

�The previous UPA Government gave us only Rs 250 crore,� said Daimary, adding that the BTC was now in a position to spend Rs 1,000 crore on development

projects.

The BPF also demanded the resolution of the long-pending issue of granting ST status to Bodos living in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima

Hasao. �We explained to the Prime Minister in detail the background of the problem, underlining the need to resolve it soon,� Daimary said.

The BPF leaders also pointed out that Central schemes under the departments of Health, Education and PWD are still executed by the State Government, though

the three departments have been transferred to the Council. The Bodo leaders urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the guidelines are changed and the BTC

is empowered to implement the schemes.

The BTC also wanted the Department of Disaster Management to be transferred to the BTC as the Deputy Commissioner, who handles the department, has no

logistic support of the State Government. �At the time of need, the DC requisitions manpower from the BTC,� they pointed out.

The BTC leaders also demanded 16 Navodaya schools in the Council areas, besides the declaration of the Central Institute of Technology as a deemed

university.

Hagrama Mohilary told newsmen that they discussed development issues and security of the tribal people. �If the NDA Government releases the required funds,

we will consider supporting the BJP,� he said.

Asked about AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal�s claim of seeking support of the BPF, Hagrama said the party would decide whom to support.

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BPF sets conditions to support BJP Assembly polls

NEW DELHI, Dec 5 - The BJP and the Bodo People�s Front (BPF) inched closer towards clinching a political deal ahead of the Assembly elections, with the Bodo

leaders today calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

�Our politics is nothing but the development of the BTC area. If the BJP-led NDA Government supports us, our people will be happy and in that case, we have

no problem in supporting the BJP,� Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary told this newspaper after meeting the Prime Minister.

What set the rumour mill rolling was the presence of Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also the BJP�s State

unit president, and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is considered close to BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, in the meeting with the Prime Minister. The BTC delegation

included deputy chief Kampa Borgoyari, besides Daimary and Hagrama.

The BPF, which has been sending mixed signals to the Congress and other Opposition parties, seems to have made up its mind to align with the BJP-led NDA. But

the alliance will come at a cost as the BTC leaders today presented a wish list to the Prime Minister for extending their support to the BJP.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, State BJP president Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Government was positive and would try its level best to solve

the problems in the BTC area.

Daimary said that the issues should be resolved. �We have no problem in supporting the BJP and the NDA if this is done,� Daimary said. �We have 10-12 seats

and we will extend support to the BJP if the people are satisfied with the NDA Government�s role,� he added.

The BPF demanded a special package of Rs 5,000 crore spread over five years. The BTC leaders demanded the release of Rs 1,000 crore annually for the next

five years.

�The previous UPA Government gave us only Rs 250 crore,� said Daimary, adding that the BTC was now in a position to spend Rs 1,000 crore on development

projects.

The BPF also demanded the resolution of the long-pending issue of granting ST status to Bodos living in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima

Hasao. �We explained to the Prime Minister in detail the background of the problem, underlining the need to resolve it soon,� Daimary said.

The BPF leaders also pointed out that Central schemes under the departments of Health, Education and PWD are still executed by the State Government, though

the three departments have been transferred to the Council. The Bodo leaders urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the guidelines are changed and the BTC

is empowered to implement the schemes.

The BTC also wanted the Department of Disaster Management to be transferred to the BTC as the Deputy Commissioner, who handles the department, has no

logistic support of the State Government. �At the time of need, the DC requisitions manpower from the BTC,� they pointed out.

The BTC leaders also demanded 16 Navodaya schools in the Council areas, besides the declaration of the Central Institute of Technology as a deemed

university.

Hagrama Mohilary told newsmen that they discussed development issues and security of the tribal people. �If the NDA Government releases the required funds,

we will consider supporting the BJP,� he said.

Asked about AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal�s claim of seeking support of the BPF, Hagrama said the party would decide whom to support.

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