regular-article-logo Thursday, 21 September 2023

North Bengal: KPP(U) to march for statehood from Friday

State has given recognition to the language but we want it to be included under the eighth schedule of the Constitution, says Nikhil Roy

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 04.11.22, 04:28 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The Kamtapur Peoples’ Party (United) — a proponent of statehood — will intensify its political activities throughout north Bengal from Friday.

The party has planned to bring hundreds of supporters from across the region here on Friday and will march to reassert their demands of Kamtapur state and national recognition of Kamtapuri (a variant of Rajbanshi) language.


“These are our longstanding demands and we want the state and the central governments to act on it. The state has given recognition to the language but we want it to be included under the eighth schedule of the Constitution,” said Nikhil Roy, the party president.

Over the past few weeks, a number of political forces and organisations, which have a support base among the Rajbanshi population of this region, have renewed their political activities.

While parties like KPP(U) and another faction of the same party are organising rallies and protests, Ananta Maharaj, who heads a faction of Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association, has been visiting different areas of north Bengal and speaking in public meetings to draw support from people on the same issue.

A section of former militants of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation have also joined the bandwagon and are holding events for the same demand of statehood.

KPP(U) leaders, when told about the state’s initiatives like creation of development and cultural board for Rajbanshis, two language academies and the decision to introduce the language in primary schools, said they were sceptical as to how these decisions have helped the Rajbanshi community.

“Those who are office bearers of these bodies should elaborate as to how people have benefited. The state’s decision to recognise Rajbanshi and Kamtapuri language has led to division within the community,” he said.

Sources in the party said after tomorrow’s event, they will launch political activities in the blocks spread across north Bengal.

“A number of cases involving corruption and nepotism at the panchayats have been reported from different districts. We want the rural bodies to run in a transparent manner so that genuine beneficiaries get the benefits. Our party will flag these issues in the blocks, along with our principal demands. We will also contest in the upcoming rural polls,” said a senior functionary of the party.

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