Independent MP forms party, ‘army without guns’ in Assam

first_imgNaba Sarania, an Independent member of the Lok Sabha from Assam who is also a former extremist, has formed a political party as well as an “army without guns”.The Gana Surakhya Party (GSP), launched on Sunday, is expected to challenge the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which has been running the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) since its creation in 2003. The BPF is a partner in the BJP-led alliance that rules the State.Eye on BTC electionThe GSP’s birth has assumed significance ahead of the election to the 40-seat BTC early next year across the districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri, politically polarised between the Bodos and the non-Bodos.The Bodos are the largest plains tribe in the north-eastern region, but account for a little more than 30% of the population in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) administered by the BTC. Nineteen communities, including Muslims, form the non-Bodos. Backed by the non-Bodos, Mr. Sarania has won in the Lok Sabha election from Kokrajhar twice since 2014. “We had to form the GSP because of the ‘atrocities’ on the non-Bodos in areas under the BTC and also because no party has cared for them,” he said, attributing the plight of the non-Bodos to the “undemocratic” and “one-sided” Bodo Accord signed in 2003 for forming the BTC under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.“We hope to win the BTC election next year… We will fight for equal rights and status for all communities,” he said.Mr. Sarania, once an ULFA , clarified on the BTAD army formed alongside his party. “This is a non-violent army, without guns. It will have 5,000 volunteers in each BTAD district for protecting the lives, property and livelihood of the non-Bodos,” he said. He had earlier said the army would be modelled on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.On the other hand, the BPF has been trying to end factionalism among the Bodos ahead of the election. Hagrama Mohilary, chairman of the BTC and a former extremist leader, called for the unification of the Bodos. A few days ago, Mr. Mohilary had met former MP Urkhao Gwra Brahma, leader of the United People’s Party (Liberal), for “burying their differences” and fighting the election together. The two had fallen out more than a decade ago.last_img

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