Khakhlari joins Congress, hails move to form Bodo-Kachari autonomous council outside BTAD
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 17: The Congress in Assam has said that it is going it alone in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the State.
Talking to newsmen at a meeting where All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) general secretary Aditya Khakhlari joined the Congress today, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta said in front of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi: “We’re not going to stitch any poll tie-ups with any other parties. It’s the BJP that has been hankering after parties for tie-up. We’re are sure to win at least 70 seats. The BJP did announce its Mission 84 that has come down to Mission 20 now. Smaller ethnic groups and communities in the State have reposed their faith on us, and which is why a number of leaders from such communities have been joining us. Many Adivasi and Tai Ahom leaders have joined us recently, and many are in queue. Tomorrow the president of the Karbi Students’ Union and some other leaders are going to join us. This apart, a state-level leader of the BJP is also going to join us soon. This has proved that our government has done much for the development of various ethnic communities in the State.”
On Prime Minister rendra Modi’s January 19 visit to the State, Dutta said: “The visit is going to benefit us. The people of Assam are aware of the fact that Modi is going to make a number of false promises yet again, and that will certainly benefit us.”
Khakhlari, who had been hobnobbing with the BJP over the past few months but took a U-turn all of a sudden and joined the Congress today, said: “The Congress government in Assam has given autonomous councils and development councils for a number of ethnic communities in the State and ensured their development. The Congress is a secular party. I dislike commul politics and that’s one of the reasons behind joining the Congress. The move on the part of Dispur for the declaration of another autonomous council for Bodo-Kacharis outside the BTAD is laudable. I hope that the Congress government will form its interim council soon and allocate funds for that.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said: “The BTC administration doesn’t think for Bodos living outside the BTAD. When the Bodo Accord was signed, a clause for Bodos outside the BTAD could have been kept, but that wasn’t done. When the BTC allocates Budget, it never allocates any funds for Bodos outside the BTAD. This has led us to take the move to form an autonomous council for Bodo-Kacharis outside the purview of the BTAD.”