Guwahati, June 27: Less than two months after the Congress-led Grand Alliance faced defeat in the Assam Assembly polls, cracks within the multi-party opposition coalition have emerged with a major partner, Bodoland People's Front (BPF), skipping a joint press conference called by the parties here on Saturday.
The allies tried to downplay the issue, claiming that the BPF leaders were absent due to "some difficulty perhaps" "The BPF was invited to the press conference and they ha said that they would be coming," Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora said. "There must have been some difficulty perhaps, especially in view of the COVID-19 situation," he added. All other partners AIUDF, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), RJD and Anchalik Gana Marcha, besides the Congress- were present at the joint press conference.
The BPF was a part of the last BJP-led state government.-led alliance prior to 2016 polls. However, it had parted ways with the ruling alliance towards the end of last year and had joined the Congress- headed grand alliance ahead of the polls, held in March-April this year. The BPF, a major power in the Bodo belt, had been a part of the Tarun Gogoi-led governments in the state in 2006 and 2011. The party, which had won 12 seats in 2016 state polls, managed to bag only four in this year election. This is the first time that the BPF, founded in 2005, is not a part of the ruling coalition in the state.
The opposition grouping had called the press meet to highlight that the BJP-led coalition has gone back on all its major pre-poll promises. "The government has gone back on all its promises, be it waiving loans from microfinance institutions or increasing daily wage of tea garden workers," the Assam PCC Chief said. Instead of finding ways to mitigate the problems of the people, the BJP is busy in polarising the people along religious lines, the leaders of the grand alliance claimed at a joint press conference.