With the term of the present Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) coming to end on Monday, Governor’s rule has imposed in the Bodo dominated area.
The State Election Commission, Assam expressed its inability to conduct polls to the general council of Bodoland Territorial Council as per schedule due to the prevalent lockdown, need to adherence to social distancing and other restrictions in view of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Governor of Assam in a notification stated, “In view of the expiry of the term of the Bodoland Territorial General Council today, Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi has resolved to assume the administration of Bodoland Territorial Council with immediate effect in public interest in exercise of powers vested in him under sub paragraph 2 of Para 16 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. This is as per notification No. TAD/BTC/250/2020/30 dated Dispur the 27th April 2020 issued by the Department of Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward classes Government of Assam.”
The notification added, “And, whereas, under paragraph (b) of the said order, the Governor may appoint a person or authority to discharge the functions and powers of the Bodoland Territorial Council including the functions and power exercised by the Executive Committee, Chief Executive Member, Deputy Chief Executive Member, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Executive Members.”
It further added, “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph (b) of the aforesaid under, the Governor is pleased to appoint Rajesh Prasad, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam to exercise all the functions and power exercisable by the said Council and its Executive Committee, Chief Executive Member, Deputy Chief Executive Member Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Executive Members subject to such directions as may be issued by Governor from time to time.”
Further, in exercising the functions and powers under this order Rajesh Prasad shall be designated as the Administrator, Bodoland Territorial Council.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam on April 25th, 2020 urged for Governor’s rule in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) as the term of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) which expired on April 27th, 2020 .
Addressing the newsmen in Guwahati, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, president, Assam BJP said, “We appealed to the Assam Governor to impose Governor’s rule in the BTAD instead of extending the term of the current BTC administration.”
Earlier, Ripun Bora, president, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, had written to Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi urging for Governor’s rule in the BTAD.
The BTC general elections were supposed to be held on April 4th, 2020. However, it was postponed following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The BTC has 46 executive members each looking after a specific area of control called somisthi. The area under the BTC jurisdiction is officially called the BTAD.
The BTAD consists of four contiguous districts — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang.
Photo credit: @jagdishmukhi