By Monjib Mochahari
Seriously. After swimming in the euphoria for over a decade, Bodo People’s Front (BPF) is experiencing a groundswell in recent times. Inability to win more seats in the recently concluded BTC election in proves its on a rocky ground. It is lifespan is fast becoming shorter due to rampant collection in the council. It is obvious, the survivable and continuation of BP as a political party crucially depends in its ability to expand the party beyond the Bodo heartland. It requires an able leadership and a new expanded political geography to consolidate its relevance. It must grow stronger to withstand uncertain and unpredictable political realities emerging in Bodoland and across Assam. Currently in absence of consciously structured political vision and inclusive policy the party is failing to navigate smoothly through the stormy political waves.
The BTC election held recently is an indication that the party in present form remains on a slippery terrain. People have witnessed it is shakeable. Some political analysts feel its organic parts are deeply fragile, and not rooted in strong ideological framework and alleged pyramid of corruption in the Council has become its destructive weapons ruining the party from within, they argue. Many party workers, either at the top hierarchy or at the grassroot level are not paying serious attention to what is being written on the walls . It is already becoming cancerous. It just can’t keep puzzling the heartland.
It is rather astonishing that a newly formed conglomerate of like minded political parties and nonpolitical organisations – People’s Coordination for Democratic Rights (PCDR) gave a tough fight against the party and reduced its tally to half. Despite having enjoyed powers for over 12 years in the Council and also seven years in the Congress Government, it could manage to win only twenty of the 40 seats. The best performance came from Udalguri (9/10) and Baksa (7seats) districts. But once the NDFB-P faction signs a new Accord, BPF won’t be able to hold its support base.
The party is completely decimated both in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts. Interestingly in BPF den Kokrajhar district, it won only three seats. In Chirang it is a complete nightmare winning only a few seats. It failed to bounced back to its previous celebrated figure. Perhaps this is a shock therapy given by people whose development aspirations were betrayed earlier, notoriously. What could have been the situation if PCDR was a full fledged political party? It will be quite laborious to stop a new political torpedo sweeping Bodoland.
Are they satisfied with the new political equations? Perhaps they aren’t. Some party heavyweights, and also political novices, who failed to strike the ballot box are already spending sleepless nights. Perhaps they ignore to learn the algebra of elections. Instead they were busy swimming in the euphoria of BTC accord even after lapsed of twelve long years. Where do the party moves from here? Is there any alternative escape pathway?
In the public sphere, it is often argued that if the party (BPF) has no clear agenda on Bodoland, as often confused by the party supremo Hagrama Mohilary himself and others, but has an appetite for more political powers, it must explore the possibility of expanding its base across the state. Especially in areas where there are tribal majority. It can capitalise those virgin political landscapes. There is a strong discontent in the tribal frontiers where the successive State government has failed to bring any tangible development. It must make the party more acceptable to all sections of communities. If it is a necessity, the party must change its nomenclature to accommodate State’s waves of growing alternative political aspirants. Its Bodoland centric approach will hyphenate its potential growth.
For all pratical reasons it must be shaped to fill the political vacuum that exist in the State. Precisely it must be reformed to the needs of time. Unfortunately, there is no such attempt been made by the party machineries. It must use its resources to change the political geography of the state. As a new political adventure the party must concentrate on the coming Assam Assembly Election (2016). However the question is: Are the party stalwarts listening to new political bugles? For all practical reason, the party must train its gun to consolidate its presence across State. Or else there is a serious likely fallout in the immediate future. But who will trigger that arsenal of change?