Yesterday, Bodoland People's Front (BPF) leader Hagrama Mohilary's sensational tweets signalling at an end to his party's alliance with the ruling BJP after the imposition of the Governor's Rule in the Council.
In his tweet that stoked the flames of controversy, Hagrama wrote, "Though we are in alliance with BJP in the state, we are forced to reconsider our understanding. We are looking at other alternatives. I request Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, BJP President Shri J P Nadda and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah to look into the matter."
Complaining about the imposition of the Governor's Rule in the region, Hagrama wrote in another tweet, "Due to the COVID-19, the elections of Bodoland Territorial Council have been postponed. In this time of emergency, people here need our government more. But instead of extending the term, the Honourable Governor has given the charge of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts to the Principle Secretary of Assam. We strongly oppose this decision and filed a petition in Guwahati High Court against the order."
It may be mentioned here that after the imposition of the Governor’s rule in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), administrator Rajesh Prasad and Principal Secretary Siddhartha Singh have assumed their office from today at the BTC secretariat in Kokrajhar, Assam.
At the same time, rumblings of discontent have been felt in the region, with the ruling Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) party demanding an extension of its rule and being turned down. Now, the region’s biggest political party has demanded that the polls, deferred due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, be held at once.
In a memorandum to the election commission of Assam, the BPF has said that recently, during a cabinet meeting, a decision had been taken to conduct BTC election, 2020, through an “innovative idea.”
The BPF has now urged the commission to “take appropriate steps so as to conduct the BTC Election 2020 at the earliest in accordance with the innovative steps and measures suggested by the State Government in its recent cabinet meeting.”
It is pertinent to note here that several of the BPF party’s leadership, including the Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary, have been vocally opposed to Governor’s Rule in the region.
At the same time, a petition has been filed questioning the power of the Governor of Assam, Jagdish Mukhi to run the administration of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). It has also challenged how he could assume office to exercise all the functions and powers exercisable by the BTC, which falls under the sixth schedule of the Constitution of India.
“The learned Senior Counsel for the petitioners has questioned the power of the Governor of the State, who has assumed the functions of the BTC by submitting that the said order in violation of the mandate of the provisions of Schedule-VI of the Constitution of India,” stated the petition.
The petition further drew attention to the fact there was no consultation with the Council of Ministers. “…the State counsel be directed to produce before this Court the relevant documents of consultation by the Governor of Assam with the Council of Ministers of the State,”
Following this, the court has issued notice on the interim prayer, returnable on 05.05.2020. “Requisite extra copy of the writ petition may be provided to the learned Senior Govt. advocate either by hard-copy or through a soft copy by e-mail.”
It added, “The learned Senior Govt. advocate shall produce the relevant records pertaining to consultation of the Governor of Assam with the Council of Ministers either by way of hard copy or by way of soft copy, if it is not possible to produce the original record on the said date. Let the matter be listed in the admission column on 05.05.2020.”
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