Dispur, April 27, 2020:
Biswajit Daimary, Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, says that the term of the Government in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) must be extended as per certain provisions of the Indian Constitution.
Daimary expressed his opinion against the backdrop of the deferment of the elections, originally scheduled to be held on April 4 in the region. The elections have been delayed indefinitely owing to the COVID-19 crisis that has emerged in recent times.
Talking to Inside Northeast earlier today, Daimary said that nobody knows when the elections will be held, and hence, the decision must be taken on the basis of the Constitutional provisions. “The Election Commission has been unable to provide answers, the State Government has been unable to provide answers, thus we hope the decision will be taken as per the Constitution. In the first provision of the 6th Schedule’s 6A states clearly that in case the Government has ruled for 5 years and elections are not held, the Governor can extend the Government by 1 more year; and if the crisis period continues, it can be extended by another 6 months.”
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The 20-BA of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, Daimary pointed out, says that the Governor has no say in the matter and the decision must be taken by the Council of Ministers, as per “legal opinion”, Daimary said, adding that “No one is bigger than the Constitution”.
Regarding calls for Governor’s Rule in the region, Daimary said that there is no provision for Governor’s Rule in such a scenario as exists currently in the BTC. “The Governor must take such decisions based on reports forwarded by a commission. “Where is the commission?”, Daimary queried.
Lashing out at the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) party’s political opposition for demanding Governor’s Rule, Daimary said, “Their only concern is with politics; they do not concern themselves with the Constitution.”
It may be recalled here that the United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL) has demanded governor’s rule in the BTAD administration post 27th April. “After April 27, a political crisis will emerge since the election could not be held due to the COVID crisis. However, the process went very far ahead and nominations were all. Since there is no scope for holding the elections in the midst of the battle against the pandemic, we want Governor’s Rule in the region under the provisions of the 6th Schedule”, said Pramod Boro, the party’s president.
Alleging the BPF’s involvement in corrupt practices, Boro further said that the “people” want Governor’s rule, and expressed hope that Governor’s Rule will focus on developmental aspects.
Meanwhile, various parties in council including the UPPL and Gana Suraksha Party (GSP) have also called upon the governor to take sole responsibility paving the way for a “healthy administration.”
It is to be mentioned here that the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) was created on February 10, 2003 after the signing of a BTC Accord through tripartite peace talks between the centre, state and former BLT leaders.
There are 40 constituencies in the BTC legislative assembly, out of which 30 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), 5 reserved for non-STs and five open for all. The first council was elected in 2005, and the BPF has won all the elections held till date.
The breakup of the BTC legislative assembly is as follows: BPF (26), UPPL (7), BJP (1), Congress (1), Independent (5).
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