TT, Siliguri, April 5: An association for Bodos in north Bengal today said they would boycott all elections in future if a development board was not formed for the community by the state government before panchayat polls next year.
Bodo leaders had recently met the state PWD minister, Aroop Biswas, in Calcutta on April 1 with the demand. The All India Bodo (Mech) Samaj claims that around 2.5 lakh Bodos live in north Bengal.
"We met the chief minister at the Bengal Safari Park here on February 13 and requested her to form a separate development board for us. Later, as per her suggestion, we met the PWD minister and submitted a memorandum to him. We have requested him to see that the board is constituted at the earliest," Dila Saibo, the vice-president of the association, said here today.
In the memorandum, the Bodos, known as Mech in Bengal, have also demanded a separate department for the Bodo language at the North Bengal University, introduction of the language as the medium of instruction in primary education and recruitment of primary teachers from the community members.
"We have also said if the state does not form the board before the rural polls next year, we will boycott all elections in future," Saibo said.