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COVID-19 delays Bodo Accord implementation

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Aug 7 - Implementation of the accord signed with four factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) was delayed because of the situation created by COVID-19 pandemic and the Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured former All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU) president Promod Boro, who is now the president of the United People�s Party Liberal (UPPL) that steps to implement the accord would start soon.

Concerned over the delay on implementation of the accord signed in January, Boro met the Union Home Minister recently and was assured that the implementation process would start soon.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Boro said that he had also submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister where he demanded a tripartite review meeting on implementation of the accord. The government promised to form a commission for inclusion and exclusion of villages in the Bodoland Territorial Council, which is to be renamed Bodoland Territorial Region, which has also not been done.

As per the accord, the government promised to rehabilitate the cadres of the NDFB factions and to withdraw the non heinous cases, but that has also not been done.

Boro said that during the meeting, the Union Home Minister told him that the process of implementation of the accord was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. �I also met the Joint Secretary (North East) of the MHA and was supposed to meet other officers of the ministry. But such meetings were cancelled after the Union Home Minister was tested COVID-19 positive,� he added.

Boro pointed out that the signing of the accord brought an end to more than three decades of armed movement in Bodo-dominated areas of the State and as the Prime Minister attended the rally held after the signing of the pact, the Centre should expedite the process of implementing it. He further said that the North East region saw non-implementation of several accords and the accord signed with the NDFB factions should not have the same fate.

The UPPL president further asserted that he did not discuss the possibility of his party coming into an alliance with the BJP for the polls to the BTC during the meeting with the Home Minister. He claimed that it was not a political meeting.

�As far as we know, the BJP has an alliance with the Bodoland People�s Front, while the Congress and All India United Democratic Front may come into some kind of understanding for the BTC polls. We are fighting the polls alone,� he added.

It may be mentioned here that the BTC polls were postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic and the new dates for the polls are yet to be announced.

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