12 seats in Bodoland could swing the polls | India News – Times of India


GUWAHATI: Bodoland may well be the key to the formation of the next government in Assam.
United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), BJP’s key ally in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), had last December ended Bodoland People’s Front’s (BPF) rule in the Bodoland Territorial Council. In the assembly elections this time, they teamed up with BJP to take on BPF and its ally, Congress.
NDA’s win here could help it make up for possible losses it might incur in the Muslim majority constituencies. Of the total 12 seats in BTR, UPPL is contesting on eight and BJP on four. Though minority votes will make a difference in many of these seats, the BJP alliance is counting on the support of non-Bodo Hindus, often referred to as ‘Obodo’.
UPPL president Pramod Boro told TOI on Thursday that UPPL received overwhelming support from the ‘Obodos’. “Their population varies, but it is estimated that 40% of the total voters are non-Bodo Hindus. UPPL-BJP may win all 12 seats,” Boro said, adding that he was sure of winning 11 seats.
But Hagrama Mohilary’s BPF ridiculed Boro’s poll math. “In the third phase we, as Mahajot, will win over 25 seats out of 40,” said Mohilary, predicting BPF victory on all eight seats it contested in the third phase.
Mohilary’s predictions for the Mahajot in the 126-member Assam assembly are modest — he gives 70 seats to the Congress-led alliance. This is far lower than the 100 plus predictions by several top Congress leaders.
Mohilary, a former BJP ally, has worked hard in this election. He has toured the hill districts and the plains to canvass for the Congress-led alliance. He doesn’t carry any ideological baggage but has also campaigned for Left candidates of the Mahajot.
Unlike the BJP, which has contested on four seats, Congress decided not to field any candidate of its own in BTR, giving BPF a free hand. A BPF source said that while UPPL is banking on Hindu votes, BPF is relying on Muslim votes.

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