Tribals’ council in Assam to go to polls next month, Guv rule extend in Tripura council

The crucial elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam would be held next month while the Governors rule was extended for another six months in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) after its six-month tenure expired on Tuesday, officials said.

In Guwahati, the state Election Commission on Tuesday announced to hold the elections to the 40-member BTC in two phases on December 7 and 10.

Announcing the poll schedule, state Election Commissioner Alok Kumar said that counting of votes will take place on December 12.

In the first phase on December 7, polling would be held in Udalguri and Baksa districts while in the second phase on December 10, polling would be conducted in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts — all four districts in western Assam bordering West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

The election process had to be deferred earlier both in the BTC and the TTAADC due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The polling would be conducted by strictly following the broad guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India,” Kumar told the media in Guwahati.

The political activities in both the TTAADC and the BTC have already gained momentum as most of the political parties are holding rallies to woo the voters.

The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) in Assam and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), both allies of the ruling BJP, are the two dominant political forces in the tribal dominated areas of the two northeastern states.

However, the BJP is yet to decide any alliance with the BPF and the IPFT for the elections to the tribal autonomous bodies.

The BPF has been ruling the BTC since 2005 and is now facing serious anti-incumbency.

This is the first election in the region after the BJP led Central government inked accords with four terrorist outfits of Bodoland earlier this year.

In Agartala, Tripura’s Tribal Welfare Department Director L.T. Darlong told IANS that the Governor’s rule in TTAADC has been extended for another six months as its six-month tenure expired on Tuesday in the 30-member autonomous body.

The politically important TTAADC, until May 18, when the Governor’s rule was first promulgated, was governed by the opposition CPI-M which has substantial base among the tribals.

CPI-M state Secretary Gautam Das and Tripura Pradesh Congress President Pijush Biswas had separately asked the BJP-led state government to conduct the TTAADC elections at the earliest.

The IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for the creation of a separate state by upgrading the TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km area which is home to over 12,16,000 people, 90 per cent of whom are tribals.

The politically important TTAADC was constituted under the sixth Schedule of the Constitution in June, 1985.

Guwahati/Agartala, IANS