Bodoland leader Hagrama Mohillary’s party has become the second Assam opposition outfit to move out its candidates — at least 10 of them besides some top leaders — from the state for fear of being poached by the BJP. Part of the Congress-led Mahajot, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) is keeping the whereabouts of its contestants under wrap, for now, its top leaders have confirmed. The move came days after the Badruddin Ajmal-led All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) shifted out 18 of its own to Jaipur, Rajasthan.
“They (the candidates) have left Assam. I have also heard they are out of India, but I cannot say where, as I have not been able to get in touch with them,” BPF veteran Pramila Rani Brahma told reporters in Kokrajhar.
Party sources have said that a dozen elected BPF members of the Bodoland Territorial Council, where it is the largest party, have also been move out. The Congress, which is in power in Rajasthan, has already stowed away three of its candidates to a Jaipur luxury hotel.
Ahead of the third phase of the Assam Assembly polls last Tuesday, the BPF’s Tamulpur constituency candidate, Rangja Khungur Basumatary, pledged his support to the BJP and campaigned for rival United People’s Party Liberal.
“It’s now a trend since the BJP tries to break the Congress after losing elections. So they (allies) want to take guard,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said earlier.
Assam, where the BJP came to power in the 2016 election, voted for a new government in three phases between March 27 and April 6. The results are due on May 2 along with those for polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry.