Guwahati, January 29, 2019:
Tripura’s Tribal and Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia was part of the IPFT contingent who arrived in Guwahati to lay the blueprint for the scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Minister expressed a strong desire for separate statehood (under the provision of the sixth schedule of Indian Constitution) due to his deep concern over the perceived threat to indigenous people of North East due to the Bill.
Speaking about the influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into the state of Tripura, Jamatia said, “We have given two choices to our allies in the Centre: either to re-allocate the refugees from Tripura and distribute them all over India or to create a separate state based on Article 23. In the scheduled areas, we are the majority and therefore in a democratic country, the majority must rule. We don’t mind about the party but the rule should be by our own people.”
Jamatia also clarified his stance on the Bill and stated the role of the IPFT in the anti-Bill protests in the state of Tripura. “IPFT party has been opposing the Bill from long time, even from 2016. Then we were not in alliance with the BJP. On February 8, 2017 we have called for a bandh, whole Tripura was paralysed. In that bandh 35 of our members were beaten up and hospitalized with severe injuries. So the IPFT party always opposed this Bill and though we are in alliance, we will continue to oppose it. This Bill is a sentimental issue and as all know Tripura is the worst affected by the illegal immigrants. We cannot compromise.
We look to the people and know the feeling of people in Tripura and the North East. It is not the question of which party you belong but it is to protest them”, he said.
He further stated the intention to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind to address the grievances of the people of the Northeast.
Commenting on breaking of alliance with the BJP, the IPFT leader stated that the decision would be taken by the party before the Lok Sabh election.