Signatories of the Bodo Accord in Assam on Tuesday have said inclusion of all stakeholders in the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) administration is a must to ensure lasting peace in the region.
The Centre on January 27 last had signed the peace accord with various factions of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
This is the third Bodo accord signed in the last three decades since the movement for a separate Bodoland state began in 1972.
The stakeholders of the accord, which include leaders of the three armed factions of the NDFB, said a provision to absorb them into Bodo politics will bring the much sought after transformation of the Bodo Territorial Region as they have been struggling for their community for decades and understand the needs of their people.
The first accord was signed with the All Bodo Students Union in 1993, leading to the creation of a Bodoland Autonomous Council with limited political powers.
In 2003, the second accord was signed with the militant group Bodo Liberation Tigers, leading to formation of a Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) with four districts of Assam — Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri — called Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD).
Hagrama Mohilary, the founder of Bodo People’s Front party that dominates the BTAD politics, has been the Chief of BTC since its creation.
The stakeholders were of the view that big ticket infrastructure will not see the light of the day until there is change in leadership of BTC administration.
Under the new accord, 1,550 militants belonging to the NDFB laid down their arms on January 30.
An economic programme of Rs 1,500 crore will be implemented in the next three years with equal contribution of Rs 750 crore each from the central and state governments.
Several infra projects such as a medical colleges, National Institute of Technology, Sports Authority of India centres in every Bodo area district, organic university, sports university among others have been sanctioned by the Centre.
“It is we who fought for our (Bodo) people. The government needs to accommodate actual leaders like us in the Bodo administration as we know better what our people need,” Gobinda Basumatary, president of NDFB (Progressive) and a signatory of the Bodo accord had said.
Talking about the current situation, Promod Boro, former president of All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and a signatory of the Bodo accord, said the Bodo people will get better governance only if the new system is able to accommodate every stakeholder.
Meanwhile, Anjali Daimary, president of All Boro Women’s Justice Forum, also emphasized that a proper political system is that which accommodates every stakeholder in a society.