Kokrajhar, Jan. 19: The newly formed United Democratic Peoples’ Front (UDPF) today demanded a separate state for the indigenous tribal people, comprising the autonomous council areas, tribal belts and blocks.
Addressing a news conference at the Kokrajhar District Journalist Association office here, UDPF general secretary Tulsi Manas Rabha said a separate state for the indigenous tribal people of Assam was necessary to safeguard their identity.
“A separate tribal state comprising the council areas and tribal belts and blocks should be created to address the hopes and aspirations of the indigenous tribal people of the state, to safeguard their identity. So we demand the creation of a separate state.”
He said the present autonomous councils like the Rabha Hasong, Tiwa, Mising, Sonowal Kachari, Deuri and Thengal Kachari should be included in the Sixth Schedule and election held therein.
On the demand of a separate Bodo state by the ruling Bodoland Peoples Front, the UDPF general secretary said it (BPF demand) was an election strategy and politically motivated. “They are the ruling party. So it is nothing but an election strategy,” he said.
The UDPF also announced its participation in the coming Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election to be held in April.
Rabha said his newly formed party was eyeing to contest all 40 constituencies in the BTC election but yet to take a final decision about it.
“We would participate in the BTC election and are hopeful that with the people’s support, we would emerge victorious,” he said.
The UDPF slammed allegations that the party had close ties with the pro-talks faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
“The UDPF is a political party comprising 13 indigenous tribes and working for the development of the deprived indigenous tribal communities of Assam. It is not a party of the pro-talks NDFB,” Rabha added.
The party also demanded early solution to the Bodo, Dimasa and Karbi problems by holding peace negotiations with outfits like the NDFB, UPDS and DHD for permanent and lasting peace.
On Ulfa’s sovereignty demand, the UPDF’s chief organising secretary, Sarbeswar Basumatary, said the party did not support it and asked the outfit to come forward for talks within the framework of the Constitution.