Guwahati, December 7, 2018:
As the upgradation of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) to an Union Territorial Council (UTC), Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Saraniya alias Heera Saraniya stated he has no problem if the Government forms the UTC realizing that it cannot handle the BTC anymore.
Speaking exclusively to InsideNE, Saraniya that no one knows what exactly is being discussed by the government and BTAD authorities related to the UTC.
He said that the UTC is an issue which is somewhere in between the BTC and the demand for the Bodoland.
He added, “No one knows what the government is discussing with the Bodo leaders. Although ADGP Pallab Bhattacharya clarified it to the media that there is no UTC formation, he still is not an authorized person to discuss or take any decision on the UTC issue. It is the Chief Minister or even Himanta Biswa Sarma who need to speak on the issue.”
Speaking on some topics of the BTAD, Heera stated that in the whole area, although it is said that non-tribal or in some cases non-Bodo do not face any difficulties it is usually reported many times.
Heera added that one such example is the Pradhan Mantri Awaz Yojna (PMAY) where non-Tribal Koch Rajbongshis did not get houses even after being landless were as tribal Bodos got houses despite of them living inside forest areas. “We even wrote about this issue to the President, PM, CM and all other concerned people”, he added.
He added that since the non-tribal population face a lot of issues in Bodo land, they started the demand of dividing the BTAD in a ratio of 70-30.
Saraniya also added that 70 person people in BTAD are non-tribal and they cannot contest in elections.
Speaking on the panchayat elections, he said, “There are panchayats in BTAD too but they are known as Village Council Development Committee(VCDC). There are no elections held for the VCDCs but the authorities of the VCDC are selected.”
Saraniya said, if a person becomes a VCDC head, he will be able to build a house worth in crore in just 2 years.
He added, “Being an MP, I live in a IAY house but the VCDC chairman can live in a house worth in crore because of the scam.”