The Kamtapur Peoples’ Party (United), a political party that has considerable clout among the Rajbanshis of north Bengal, has asserted that if the BJP government at the Centre does not make any move on their longstanding demand for statehood, they would urge the community not to cast a single vote for the party in the panchayat elections.
On Friday, hundreds of KPP (U) supporters assembled in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar towns. They held a rally and launched a protest in front of the district magistrates’ offices, raising slogans for their principal demand.“We want a separate state and nothing else. Time and again, we have been assured by BJP leaders and by the central government that our demand is under consideration. Let us make it clear today that if the Centre does not take any step to meet our demand, the Rajbanshis across north Bengal will not cast a single vote to BJP,” said Dundeshwar Roy, the Jalpaiguri district president of KPP(U).
The KPP (U), sources said, has planned to launch an extensive political campaign across north Bengal in the coming weeks, particularly in the rural belts. Last month, two letters from the Union home ministry had reached the party where it was mentioned that the ministry is looking into two demands.
of their demands, the other being inclusion of Kamtapuri (a variant of Rajbanshi) language in the Eighth Schedule.Since then, the party has intensified its political activities in the region and has also hinted that it will field candidates in the rural polls which would be due on next year.
Such assertions by the KPP (U) leaders have come as a fresh poser for the BJP, admitted leaders of the saffron camp.
“Our state and central leaders will have to come up with some solutions to pacify these regional political forces. We cannot afford to lose the support of Rajbanshis,” said the party leader.