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    BTC becomes BTR; Council polls still in a great dilemma

    The state government of Assam on Friday renamed the erstwhile Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR)

    GUWAHATI: As a first step of the third Bodoland Territorial Council (Accord) signed on January 27, the state government of Assam on Friday renamed the erstwhile Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

    Announcing the renaming of the BTC, Assam’s health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi has approved the renaming of the BTAD to BTR.”

    According to Minister Sarma the BTR would include four districts – Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri and Baksa.

    The minister also said, as mentioned in the BTR Accord, that a commission will be constituted to look after the inclusion and exclusion of certain villages located in the BTR.

    Sarma said that the commission will be headed by former Assam chief secretary PP Verma while there will three other members in the committee that includes the BTC administrator Rajesh Prasad besides representatives from the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) and other non-Bodo communities residing in the council territorial region areas.

    Notably, the committee has been formed initially for six months which could be extended later.

    It must be mentioned here that the BTC has been undergoing Governor’s rule ever since the end of Hagrama Mohilary-led BPF’s tenure in the council on April this year. Even after the end of the council’s term of office, the election has still been postponed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.  

    However, in this regard, Minister Sarma said that there Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is likely to conduct a consultative meeting with officials and members of the BTC administration at the earliest. He added that a decision will be taken by the month of December.

    Recently, the Gana Suraksha Party, a BTC based regional political party led by Kokrajhar MP Naba Kumar Sarania wrote a letter to the Assam State Election Commission and urged to conduct the now BTR election at the earliest. Maintaining the tune of Sarania, BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary also criticised the state government of Assam and stressed not to extend the date of the election. Mohilary also asserted Dispur to end the Governor’s rule in the BTC.

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