CPI-M slams formation of tribal party alliance in Tripura

Agartala, Jan 16 (IANS) A day after three tribal-based political parties in Tripura came together and called for a 12-hour shutdown to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the ruling CPI-M on Monday termed the move a “separatist action”.

“The CPI-M is also opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and supports the Indira-Mujib pact which determined March 24, 1971, as cut off date to detect illegal infiltration into India from Bangladesh,” CPI-M central Committee member Bijan Dhar told reporters on Monday.

Dhar, accompanied by another Communist Party of India-Marxist Central Committee member Gautam Das, said there is no justification to calling a shutdown on the issue.

“The strike was called as a pretext for formation of alliance to destabilise developmental and welfare schemes undertaken for the development of tribals,” said Dhar, also the state Secretary of CPI-M.

“The three tribal-based parties are unhappy that peace has been established in the state and the decades old terrorism has been tamed in Tripura,” he added.

The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the National Conference of Tripura (NCT) on Sunday evening announced the formation of the All Tripura Indigenous Regional Parties Forum (ATIRPF) to oppose the bill introduced by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

The parties also called a 12-hour shutdown on February 8 in the jurisdiction of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to oppose the proposed bill that aims to recognise the illegal immigrants from across the border.

The TTAADC was formed in 1987 under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect and safeguard the political, economic and cultural interests of the tribals. The politically important council constitutes two third of Tripura’s 10,491 sq. km area.

“If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is passed in Parliament, the indigenous people in Tripura and other northeastern states would be affected,” ATIRPF convenor Narendra Chandra Debbarma told reporters on Sunday evening.

“Bangladeshi migrants through this proposed law would be settled in eastern and northeastern India depriving the original people of the region of basic rights,” the tribal leader said.

Tribals play a crucial role in Tripura politics as one-third of the 60 assembly seats in the state are reserved for the tribals and one out of two Lok Sabha seats is reserved for the tribals.

The IPFT has been agitating for the creation of a separate state, carved out by upgrading the TTAADC area.

Both the INPT and IPFT have been demanding more power to TTAADC, introduction of inner-line permit in Tripura to protect the tribals, recognition of tribal language Kokborok in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and reservation of 50 per cent seats for the tribals in the 60-member Tripura Assembly.

–IANS

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