BJP’s Tripura ally to hold sit-ins for separate State

first_imgThe Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, the junior ally of the ruling BJP, will hold demonstrations across the State in August to spearhead its demand for a separate State, a party leader said on Thursday.“We will organise sit-in demonstrations all over Tripura on August 23 in support of our demand for a separate State and withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016,” IPFT vice-president Ananta Debbarma said.“We would continue our agitation in the State to highlight the two important demands,” he added.Old demandThe IPFT has been agitating since 2009 for a separate State to be carved out by upgrading the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the State’s 10,491 sq. km area, home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals.Most political parties, including the BJP, CPI(M), Congress and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, have rejected the IPFT demand, saying it is not practical to divide the small State.The IPFT forged an alliance with the BJP, based on a common minimum programme, before the February 18 Assembly polls and secured eight seats in the 60-member House. During the poll campaign, the IPFT toned down its Statehood demand while the BJP maintained that it did not support the separate State issue. IPFT president Narendra Chandra Debbarma and general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia are Ministers in the nine-member Council of Ministry headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Mr. Ananta Debbarma said it would jeopardise tradition and customs besides demographic positions of the indigenous people not only in Tripura but also in the entire north-eastern region. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid documents or those whose documents expired to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalisation.Many parties in the northeastern region are opposing the Bill, which is now under scrutiny of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.last_img

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