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8 BPF candidates reach Chhattisgarh amid hide-&-seek with BJP

GUWAHATI: Although the results of the just-concluded polls in Assam will only be declared on May 2, political machinations are already underway amid apprehensions of ‘horse-trading‘ and have led the Congress-led Mahajot to take drastic measures to hang onto their candidates.

If reports are to be believed, as many as 8 candidates from the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) party were flown to Chhatisgarh’s Raipur on April 10 last, reaching the capital in the dead of the night around 11:30 by a chartered plane.

According to reports in some sections of the media, as many as 27 people affiliated to the Hagrma Mohilary affiliated outfit landed at the Raipur airport that evening. It is believed that the candidates are being accompanied by recently-elected MCLAs of the Bodoland Council.

Local Congressmen have confirmed that the leaders have been kept at a ‘secret location’ quite close to the airport to prevent horse-trading.

According to the sources, they will return to Assam on the say of counting (May 2).

All but one BPF candidate — Kokrajhar East MLA Pramila Rani Brahma — have been sent to secret locations to keep them away from BJP influence.

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It needs mention here that Chhatisgarh is currently a Congress stronghold and the sitting chief minister — Bhupesh Baghel — campaigned for the Mahajot in the lead-up to the polls in Assam.

Tensions are running high in the BPF party after their Tamulpur candidate — Rangja Basumatary — joined the BJP party a couple of days before the election, before going on to join the BJP party amid hype and hoopla. Basumatary’s announcement came days after the last date of withdrawal of nominations.

Days after the BPF’s Tamulpur candidate, Rangja Khungur Basumatary, defected to the BJP, the Hagrama Mohilary-led party had filed a petition before the Supreme Court to postpone the polling in the constituency.

This is said to have greatly angered BPF supremo Hagrama Mohilary, who filed a plea with the Election Commission (EC), urging it to postpone the polling in Tamulpur.

The Election Commission last Sunday turned down the plea of the Bodo Peoples Front (BPF) seeking to postpone polls in the Tamulpur constituency.

To avoid “possible horse-trading by the BJP”, the Congress and its ally AIUDF on Friday sent at least 22 of their candidates in the just held Assembly polls to Congress-ruled Rajasthan in a chartered plane, party sources said.

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