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Tripura: Except BJP, No Political Party Happy With Proposed Amendment to Autonomous Council Provision

The Indigenous National Party of Twipra stated that the amendment would not be beneficial for the tribal council in the state.

Agartala: The Centre’s decision to grant more power and funds to 10 autonomous councils in the Northeastern region failed to satisfy political parties of Tripura, except the ruling BJP.

Even the Indigenous People’s front of Tripura (IPFT), the sole ally of the saffron party in the state, said the Centre’s move would not be able to fulfil the aspiration of the tribal people of the state.

Aiming to woo the tribal population in the Northeast ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Cabinet Wednesday approved constitutional amendments to increase the powers of the autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the Northeast.

While the BJP termed the decision ‘historic’, the main opposition CPI(M) said there is nothing new in the proposed amendment.

“We have long been demanding a separate Twipraland for the tribals. We think a separate state by carving out the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council can only solve our problems,” IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said.

Rampada Jamatia, Tripura BJP tribal wing president, said this “historic decision” will be able to bring a lot of funds for development of tribal areas.

“We had demanded that the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) be made a state council.

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They made it a Territorial council. But we have no problem with it,” Jamatia said.

The amendments propose to rename the TTAADC as the Tripura Tribal Area Autonomous Territorial Council as the present jurisdiction of these councils extend to more than one districts.

In a statement, the CPI(M) said there is nothing new in the proposed amendments to empower the tribal councils of the region.

The party demanded that monetary assistance to the council be continued from the tribal sub-plan and other sectors and the sanctions should not be stopped in the name of enhancing grants from the Finance Commission.

The amendment proposed 30 per cent reservation of seats in village councils and urban civil bodies in the Sixth Schedule areas, but did not make any proposal for reservation of seats in the Tribal council, it said.

The CPI(M) also demanded inclusion of the tribal language Kokbarak in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Indigenous National Party of Twipra (INPT) stated that the proposed amendment would not be beneficial for the tribal council in the state.

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INPT president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said, “When the amendment proposed increasing the number of seats in the councils in other states of the region, TTAADC is not there in the list. It is discrimination. We demand that the number of seats for TTAADC be raised.”

The party also demanded that the central government convene a meeting of the tribal leaders of the region before placing it as a Bill in Parliament.

The state Congress is yet to comment on the issue.

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