Under two previous Bodo agreements – the Bodoland Autonomous Council agreement of 1993 and the 2003 agreement with the Bodo Liberation Tigers rebels – the government was this time interested in a comprehensive solution to the Bodo issue, where the central demand for a separate Bodoland state was abandoned once and for all instead of taking appropriate steps to increase the Bodo people. According to the new agreement, „negotiations have been conducted with the Bodo organizations for a comprehensive and final settlement of their claims, while preserving the territorial integrity of the State of Assam.“ One of the signatories, Gobinda Basumatary, head of the NDFB, told the writer that it was no longer necessary to ask for his own state, because most of the powers and aspirations of those who aspire to a clean state are provided. Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Minister of the Interior of the Union, and Arvinda Kumar, Director of the Intelligence Bureau, participated in the signing of the agreement. All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and all NDFB groups have signed the tripartite agreement. Assam`s chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna also signed the agreement. Recently, the MHA and the Government of Assam signed an enterprise agreement with the NDFB-S under the leadership of its president B Saoraigwra, and some 40 NDFB members, including Mr. Saoraigwra, were repatriated from Myanmar on 11 January. Sarma said the agreement had not yet addressed the issue of „citizenship or work permit“ for non-residents of BTAD, which should be renamed the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). Asked whether the agreement was Article 370 (revoked by J-K) in a new form, as it provided the Bodos with special status and additional autonomy, Shah said, „Is it your request to reclaim Article 370?“ The Prime Minister said: „After the signing of this historic agreement with the Bodo organisations, the development of the Bodo territories is at the forefront of our government.
Work on a large R.1,500 Crore package has begun. We will focus on the ease of life and ensure that Bodos benefits fully from the government`s programmes. Urkhao Gwra Brahma, a former member of Rajya Sabha`s People`s Party and president of UPPL, who played a key role in the development of the agreement, said the 34-year-old NDFB political struggle ended in an „honourable political agreement.“ Improving the funding system and strengthening basic democracy by introducing village and city councils into the BTR is another important provision of the agreement, he said. This would facilitate equal participation of non-Bodo communities in the governance of the BTR by elected municipal councillors. The UPPL has seven members at the BTC. All factions of the NDFB must abandon the path of violence, surrender their weapons and disband their armed organizations within one month of the signing of the agreement.