Call for plebiscite on Bodoland state issue

 GUWAHATI, April 25 – Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania today demanded a plebiscite to determine whether the majority of the people living in the present Bodoland Territorial Administrative Districts (BTAD) areas are for a separate Bodoland state or not.

Addressing a press meet here this morning, Sarania said that 80 per cent of the BTAD people are against the idea of creation of a separate Bodoland state. Some opportunist politicians are trying to mislead the Bodo people of these districts to raise the demand for a separate Bodoland state.

Significantly, the Bodos constitute a mere 20 per cent of the total population of these districts, he said, adding, the political design of the Central Government to divide Assam further has been encouraging these ‘ambitious’ political leaders to carry on their movement for creation of a separate Bodoland state.

But, Sarania warned that the non-Bodos, who constitute the overwhelming majority of 80 per cent of the total population of these districts, are now united to frustrate all such designs. The result of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the Kokrajhar parliamentary seat proved the veracity of his claim and in 2019 also, the non-Bodo people of these districts would register their opposition to any design to further Balkanize the State, he asserted.

Replying to a question, the Kokrajhar MP said that it was because of the confusion among the non-Bodo people of the BTAD area that the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) could get its candidates elected from the Assembly constituencies of the BTAD during the 2016 Assembly elections. He asserted that this won’t be repeated again.

Sarania demanded involvement of the non-Bodo people’s representatives in all the discussions held on the Bodoland separate state issue henceforth.

He alleged that the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) has been indulging in rampant corruption and it is opposing his appointment as the head of the district coordination and monitoring committees of the Union Rural Development Ministry schemes for Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts.

Speaking on the occasion, Jogeswar Kalita, general secretary of the Aboro Suraksha Samity, Assam, said that the numerical strength of the non-Bodos living in the BTAD area is proved by the fact that even by adding all the votes secured by the pro-Bodoland state candidates during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for the Kokrajhar parliamentary seat, the votes obtained by Sarania, a non-Bodo people’s candidate, could not be surpassed.

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