Aspirants who lost out protest in Assam

BPF may review support to the Tarun Gogoi government

Guwahati: The exclusion of certain aspirants from Assam in the Manmohan Singh Ministry has created political unease.

The Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), a coalition partner of the Congress in the State, is reviewing its support to the Tarun Gogoi government in protest against the non-inclusion of its lone MP, Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary.

BPF chief Hagrma Mahilary and Mr. Bwiswmuthiary expressed resentment that despite their party being a pre-poll ally of the United Progressive Alliance, it was denied a berth. The BPF central committee is set to meet on June 4 to decide on the issue.

In the 126-member Assam Assembly the Congress has 54 legislators. The BPF has 11 members, three of whom are in the Gogoi Cabinet. The effective House strength is down to 125 following the resignation of Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal.

The legislator from the South Salmara Assembly constituency quit after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Dhubri constituency. Thus the AUDF’s strength stands at nine.

The Congress now has 54 members, the BPF has 11, the Asom Gana Parishad has 25, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 10, the AUDF has nine and the CPI(M) has two.
The CPI, the Autonomous State Demand Committee and the Nationalist Congress Party have one each. There are also 11 independents.
Resentment has also surfaced among Congress leaders and workers as only one of its seven MPs — Bijoy Krishna Handique — has found a berth, while both the MPs from Meghalaya — one from the Congress, Vincent H. Pala, and the other from the NCP, Agatha Sangma — have been inducted. The latter is the youngest Minister.
The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha, the tea workers’ union backed by the Congress, and the Assam Tea Tribe Students’ Association have voiced resentment over the non-inclusion of the Congress MP from Dibrugarh, Paban Singh Ghatowar. A representative of the tea tribes, he is the ACMS president. Effigies of Mr. Gogoi were burnt by protestors in tea gardens in Upper Assam.