Three months after wresting control of a tribal council, the BJP is set to lose it to the Congress in an embarrassing development for the saffron party ahead of the assembly elections in Assam.
The BJP formed its tribal council in the northeast after using former militant leader Niranjan Hojai to engineer a split in the Congress-led North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) in October last year. Hojai was made the council head.
The council covers Dima Hasao district, whose headquarters Haflong is 325km southeast of Guwahati.
Last week, the Congress used a similar strategy by letting another ex-rebel Jewel Gorlosa bring 10 members of the council back into the party. The formally rejoined the Congress at the party headquarters in Guwahati on Saturday.
“The BJP has been reduced to a minority in the 30-member council. We will meet governor PB Acharya on Tuesday to stake claim,” former NCHAC head Debojit Thaosen said.
Gorlosa said the BJP leadership had “too many ideas” about how to run the council. “It was frustrating, and we decided not to take orders from outsiders.”
Of the 30 members in NCHAC, 28 are elected and two nominated. One of them is chosen the chairman, another as the chief executive member and 14 as executive members.
Like an assembly, the party or coalition that has the majority forms the council.