regular-article-logo Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Kamtapur cry at public rally in Cooch Behar

Recently it was first-of-its-kind rally held on issue under banner of Kamtapur State Demand Forum

Our Correspondent Cooch Behar Published 29.12.22, 04:08 AM
The public meeting of Kamtapur State Demand Forum at Raasmela Ground in Cooch Behar on Wednesday

The public meeting of Kamtapur State Demand Forum at Raasmela Ground in Cooch Behar on Wednesday Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

Two political parties and a number of organisations based in north Bengal and Assam held a public meeting in Cooch Behar on Wednesday to reassert their demand for statehood.

In recent times, it was a first-of-its-kind rally held on the issue under the banner of Kamtapur State Demand Forum, an apex body of these organisations.


Nikhil Roy, the chairman of the forum, said they felt the need to work together to push the demand raised by a number of organisations in this region.

“A number of new states have been formed in our country for better governance and development. We want the central government to act on our demand,” said Roy, who is also the president of Kamtapur Peoples’ Party (United).

The organisations which joined Wednesday’s meeting are known to have their support base among Rajbanshis in this region and in the neighbouring state of Assam. Around 3,000 people were present at the event.

However, leaders of both the factions of Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association (GCPA) — headed by Ananta Maharaj and Bangshibadan Barman — stayed away from the meeting.

Subhash Barman, a leader of the forum from Malda, was critical of both the GCPA and the saffron camp without naming either.

“Some people here claim that they are working for the same demand (of statehood). However, we find them taking favours from state and central governments. This is unacceptable. They should instead join hands with us,” said Barman.

“Time and again, we have been assured that our demand would be considered. However, certain political forces should understand we can’t stay satisfied with assurances anymore,” he added.

A couple of days back, leaders of Kamtapur Progressive Party slammed the BJP while announcing Wednesday’s event. The BJP played the statehood card for Rajbanshi votes, they alleged.

“If our demand is not met, we will have second thoughts on whether to vote for the BJP in the panchayat elections,” a leader had said.

Trinamul leaders, when told that these organisations plan to work jointly under the forum, sounded unperturbed.

“It doesn’t matter. These people should realise their demand (for statehood) won’t be met. We will not let Bengal be divided,” said Udayan Guha, the north Bengal development minister.

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