Agartala: While assuring support to the socio-economic and cultural development of the indigenous communities of Tripura, Union home minister Amit Shah informed the delegation of BJP’s ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) that he would visit the state next month to discuss the issues of tribal development and autonomous district council (ADC), said IPFT general secretary and tribal welfare minister Mevar Kr Jamatia here Sunday.
A four-member IPFT delegation headed by Jamatia had met Shah in Delhi on July 23 last following the invitation of home minister to discuss their long-pending issues like the creation of Tipraland, the elevation of ADC to territorial council, publish the report of high power committee constituted for socio-economic, cultural and linguistic development of indigenous people of the state, sanction the tribal development package of Rs 8882 Cr and provide necessary support for filling up 20,000 vacant posts of scheduled tribe in various departments.
“Like earlier occasions this time also, Shah gave patient hearing to our issues and justifications but not given any specific assurance to fulfill our demands. But Shah desired to come to Tripura in August to discuss the issues at a joint meeting of BJP and IPFT leaders here and accordingly, the follow up action would be taken,” Mevar told media.
Soon after the formation of the BJP-IPFT government in Tripura in 2018, the home ministry had constituted a high power committee for socio-economic, cultural and linguistic development of indigenous people according to a per-poll agreement with BJP.
The committee held several rounds of consultation with the stakeholders and recorded the statement but in the last three years the report was not published, he stated.
In the meantime, IPFT has written series of letters to Prime Minister and met Amit Shah at least five times to press for the demand but yielded no result except for getting positive response on every occasion, Mevar said adding, “This time Shah asserted to come to state and sit with the leaders of both the parties for sorting out the demands.”
Shah has sought more time to table a sixth schedule amendment bill in January 2019 to elevate Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (ADC) to Tripura Territorial Council but has not yet been passed in the parliament, which was approved in the union cabinet in January 2019. As a result, the core poll promises of IPFT have not been implemented and the party has been facing resistance in the hills.
“We believe the poor result of IPFT and BJP in just concluded ADC elections was the response of people, as we could not fulfill any of our commitment and this was also elaborately discussed in the meeting. However, we are hopeful this time some positive thing will be coming out,” Mevar added.
Shah reminded that the Tipraland is not a only a standalone issue and there were long pending demands of Gorkhaland, Vidarba etc, which is a Constitutional matter and needs series of meetings and threadbare discussion at various levels involving all stakeholders to reach a conclusion.He criticized the demand of Greater Tipraland raised by royal scion Pradyot Debbarman’ Tipra Motha, the bill of which passed in the last session of ADC council and it’s an absurd demand that includes part of non ADC Tripura, Bangladesh and Assam and said, “Greater Tipraland is nothing but an instrument befooling the innocent indigenous people of the state.”