GUWAHATI, April 7 � The last few elections in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area were marred by poll related violence, but for a change, this time, the electioneering has been by and large peaceful in the area. However, there have been instances of encounters between security forces and militants belonging to the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB), but those did not affect the poll process.
Interestingly, in a number of constituencies under the BTC, the main contest will be between the candidates of the Bodoland People�s Front (BPF) and the Congress, who were alliance partners in the Government for the last five years. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bodoland People�s Progressive Front (BPPF) and the newly formed party UDPF have come into a seat-sharing agreement to give a tough fight to the BPF in the BTC LACs.
The spokesman of the BPF, Khampa Borgoyari, who is also the deputy chief of the BTC, said that none of their candidates faced any major problem in campaigning like the last few elections. He attributed the peaceful electioneering to formation of the Bodo National Conference, an umbrella body of 26 organizations of the area.
Borgoyari said that the main poll planks of the BPF are peace and overall development of all sections of people. He said that the process of development started in the underdeveloped area of the State after the formation of the BTC and the BPF wants unity among all sections of people.
Commenting on the poll prospects of the BPF candidates, Borgoyari claimed that the candidates of the party would win all the seats in BTC area and even a few seats outside the Council area. He admitted that in a few seats in the BTC, the main contest would be between Congress and BPF candidates. He claimed that in Gossaigaon, the main contest would be between Congress and BPF while, the contest would be between BPF and BPPF in Kokrajhar East and Kokrajhar West seats. The BPF�s main contest would be with the Congress in Tamulpur, Bijni, Chapaguri, Paneri and Majbat, while, the contest will be with the AGP in Barama , Kalaigaon and Bhabanipur, he claimed.
The BPF is also expecting a good show in Gauripur, Rangiya, Bongaigaon and Abhyapuri North, the seats outside the BTC.
On the other hand, BPPF leader and former Rajya Sabha member UG Brahma said that electioneering has been peaceful so far. But at the same time, he alleged that the Election Commission has not been able to stop misuse of money in the polls as there have been attempts by the BPF to influence the voters with money, particularly in the rural areas.
Brahma said that corruption and problems of the people belonging to different ethnic groups are some of the main poll issues of the BPPF, which is expecting good results in at least four constituencies. He said that though the BPPF has not entered into any alliance, it has local-level understanding in some seats with the AGP, UDPF and AIUDF.