Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), the largest tribal based party in Tripura, would place a set of demands to union government. Party President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl and Vice President Nagendra Jamatia would press union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to concede some key issues to benefit state's 33 percent tribal community.
"Our leaders would meet Mr Shinde on January 30. They would submit a memorandum to him on issues like empowerment of the autonomous district council", INPT General Secretary Jagadish Debbarma told The Hindu on Tuesday.
He said they want union government introduces relevant bill to empower the tribal council in coming parliament session. Recognition of tribal dialect Kokborok as a schedule language would also be taken up, he informed.
The INPT is demanding more power for the tribal autonomous district council as per Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) of Assam. Tripura council is one of oldest in northeast constituted under sixth schedule of the Constitution.
"The present council is toothless. It has to depend on the state government for everything", Mr Debbarma added.
INPT took a harsh stance on tribal issues after it's smaller rival Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) got a political edge by demanding a separate state to protect minority tribals. IPFT's recent programmes received huge response causing a matter of concern for other parties.
Ruling CPI(M) which enjoys overwhelm tribal support and main opposition Congress slammed the 'tribal state' demand, and said it is aimed at creating fresh rift between ethnic communities. INPT has opposed the demand though not strongly as it has to get a space in tribal politics.
It is believed INPT would try to negotiate its agenda with the central government ahead of ensuing Lok Sabha election. The party has been traditional ally of Congress, but it recently indicated to go for an alternative if ignored by Congress high command over tribal issues.
Meanwhile the CPI(M) ruled authority in tribal autonomous council has declared to rehabilitate 2500 landless indigenous families. "Besides land we would assist them to become self sufficient in rubber plantation", Chief Executive Member Ranjit Debbarma told newsmen on Tuesday.
He also announced some administrative measures for effective implementation of schemes. Emphasis on education would be given in distant tribal localities.