The stalling of the peace deal between the pro-talks faction of the ULFA and the Union Government could be viewed as a minor set back for the BJP which is trying to increase its tally in the Assam Assembly elections. The peace deal which was scheduled to be signed this month, but was stalled due to the election code of conduct.
In fact a team of the ULFA's pro talks faction was in New Delhi to sign the agreement, but had to return after the election commission of India stepped in and cited the election code of conduct. The BJP would have had an added advantage had this deal gone through.
Will it affect the BJP?
Had the deal gone through, the BJP would have had an advantage in the run up to the Assembly elections. Those part of the pro-talks faction have a considerable amount of clout among the voters of Assam and this deal would have given the BJP a major talking point during the election campaign.
As per the frame work agreement, this deal would have provided an upper house in Assam and also an update of the National Registry for citizens. However a key issue such as granting of scheduled caste status to six indigenous communities who constitute 40 per cent of Assam's population was not part of the initial agreement. This issue is being studied by a committee and once the report is final, it would become part of the deal.
While the BJP would have hoped the deal went through before the election code of conduct came into force, the party however feels that this would not be a major factor in the elections. Our intent is well known and that would matter to the people. The people know that this deal will go through and currently it has been stalled only because of the election code of conduct.