A couple of days after the air-lifting of at least 22 candidates of Grand Alliance (Mahajot) from Assam to a resort in Jaipur, Rajasthan, 10 out of 11 nominees of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) have reportedly been moved out of India.
According to reports they have been shifted to neighbouring Bhutan as the party fears that there may be possibility of horse-trading. The party chief, Hagrama Mohilary, has reason to apprehend any such move by the BJP as one of the 12 candidates fielded by the BPF had crossed over to the saffron party less than a week before the third phase of polling on April 6.
The BPF had 12 MLAs in the House of 126 last time when it contested in alliance with the BJP.
However, on February 27 the BPF snapped ties from the NDA and a day later joined the Congress-led Mahajot. The party got 12 seats to contest.
When on April 9, the 22 candidates, mostly of All India United Democratic Front were being taken in a special place to Jaipur, reports appeared in the regional media that the BPF too has shifted its candidates to an unknown place in Kokrajhar, the main town of Bodoland.
However, it was on April 11 that news got leaked that at least 10 of the 11 are at an unknown destination in Bhutan.
Like in the case of Jaipur they too may have been given new phones so that they cannot be contacted.
Apart from the Assembly candidates, some members of the Bodoland Territorial Council too have reportedly been sent to Bhutan as the party apprehends poaching.
In the BTC election held last December, the BPF emerged as the single largest party winning 17 out of the 40 seats. But the BTC is controlled by the United People’s Party Liberal and the BJP, as they won 12 and nine seats respectively.
The BJP has now contested the Assembly poll in alliance with the UPPL after its relationship with the BPF ended following the election in BTC.