Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday made it clear that the ruling BJP will not have any alliance with its existing ally Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) in the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. In the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), the BJP has already formed an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and is currently holding talks with another outfit Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) regarding seat-sharing arrangements, Sarma said.
“We have been telling it many times that our alliance with BPF was for five years only and both sides were committed to it. They are still in our government and it is healthy politics," the BJP leader said. In the BTR, the BJP will have a seat-sharing agreement with the UPPL and Lok Sabha MP Naba Sarania-led GSP, Sarma, who is also convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the NDA version in the north-east, said.
Formed in 2005, BPF is a state political party in Assam with its headquarters in Kokrajhar. “We have already started negotiations with Sarania and it is moving in the positive direction. We will announce our candidates within 48 hours of announcing poll dates," he added.
BPF’s relation with BJP went sour during the latest elections of the 40-member Bodoland Territorial Council, where the saffron party dumped its state ally BPF and formed the council government in alliance with UPPL and GSP. The BJP is currently the single-largest party in the 126-member Assam house with 60 MLAs, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BPF now have 13 and 11 lawmakers respectively. The ruling coalition also has the support of an Independent MLA.
The new regional party Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), which has formed an alliance with another fresh political outfit Raijor Dal, has recently said that it is talking to the BPF and “it is moving in the positive direction". The elections to the Assam Assembly are likely in March- April. The 2016 elections gave a fractured mandate and no party got an absolute majority in the current assembly.
The opposition Congress has 19 MLAs at present, while the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has 14 members in the house in Assam.