Bike rallies, ”parivartan padayatras” and mass gatherings are being organised by political parties to reach out to people with promises of all-round development as part of the campaign for the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) polls scheduled next month in Assam.

Elections to the 40-member BTC will take place in two phases on December 7 and 10, and votes will be counted on December 12, election officials said.

Altogether 72 candidates are in the fray for the 40- member Council whose term ended on April 27, they said.

Nominees of Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), United Peoples Party Liberal (UPPL), Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), Congress, AIUDF and independent candidates have intensified their campaign to woo voters. At a rally organised by the UPPL at Sukanjhora in Kokrajhar district on Sunday, party candidate Rabiram Brahma exuded confidence that his party will win majority seats. Addressing a rally at Gopinathpur, BPF candidate Rajib Brahma said, his party would win the elections for their development schemes, and form the government again in the BTC for the fourth time.

Hagrama Mohilary-led Bodoland People”s Front (BPF) has been ruling the BTC since its first election in 2005. BTC was formed in 2003.

Meetings are also being held in rural pockets as part of campaigning.

The Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) administered by the BTC has four districts – Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.

For the BTC elections, the UPPL is contesting in all the 40 seats, BPF 37, GSP 35, BJP 26, Congress 13 and AIUDF 7.

The BTC polls were deferred on March 20 by the Assam State Election Commission due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The elections are being held after a fresh Bodo Accord was signed in New Delhi on January 27 by leaders of all the four factions of the NDFB, then All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) chief Pramod Boro, then BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The council is currently being administered under the supervision of Governor Jagadish Mukhi. PTI