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Bodo anguish after failed talks
- Government accused of deliberate delay in forming council

Guwahati, Sept. 19: The Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) tonight accused Dispur of dilatory tactics after a crucial meeting failed.

The question of inclusion of 95 additional villages, which had been demanded by the outfit, could not be resolved.

Sources revealed that the BLT delegation, led by chairman Hagrama Basumatary, expressed “anguish” over the state government’s “delaying tactics” which were holding up the formation of the interim council of the Bodoland Territorial Council.

The meeting between the BLT and the cabinet sub-committee on the proposed BTC remained inconclusive as the state government said the three-member official committee was yet to submit its recommendations on the issue.

Adopting a tough stand, the BLT refused to form the interim Bodo council till these additional villages are included in the BTC and Bodos are given equal status in the three autonomous councils of the Tiwa, Rabha and Mising communities.

State power minister and cabinet sub-committee member Devanand Konwar said the meeting could not discuss the question of inclusion of these additional villages. This was because the three-member official committee, having one representative each from the Centre, the state government and the BLT, informed the sub-committee that it would require another sitting to finalise the recommendation.

Konwar said both sides are likely to meet again later this month after the three-member committee submits its report and recommendations.

The minister for welfare of plain tribes and backward classes, Bharat Narah, who is also a member of the cabinet sub-committee, said the BLT delegation had insisted on arriving at a solution in today’s meeting itself. The sub-committee, however, expressed its inability to override the decision of the Centre to constitute the tripartite committee on the question of inclusion of additional villages.

“We pointed out to the BLT delegation that the committee, constituted by the Centre, also has a representative from their organisation and the committee already has held two sittings. We decided at today’s meeting that the committee should be told to finalise its recommendation this month so that the cabinet sub-committee and the BLT can sit again to resolve this issue,” Narah added.

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