The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) will consult regional parties on the issue of augmentation of power of the state’s lone autonomous district council constituted under the sixth schedule of the constitution. Top leaders of the party reached Guwahati on Saturday for the purpose ahead of their visit to New Delhi to place demands to the Central government.
INPT President Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawl, Vice President Nagendra Jamatia and General Secretary Jagadish Debbarma will hold talks with leaders of the regional parties and office bearers of other autonomous districts councils. Unlike rival Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Tripura (IPFT) which is voicing for a separate state for the minority tribal population, INPT wants to take a pragmatic approach on the whole issue.
“We don’t want bifurcation of the state, but definitely demand measures to strengthen the tribal district council. The present council has very limited power and jurisdiction”, Jagadish Debbarma told The Hindu.
He said the council should be given authority under the seventh schedule of the constitution that was only granted to the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) in Assam. The party would place this and other demands to the central government leaders including Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at New Delhi.
INPT leaders said they want the centre moves a bill on assigning more power to the Tripura tribal autonomous district council in upcoming winter session of the parliament. The party would also lobby for other demands concerning s indigenous people who constitute one third of total population of Tripura, they added.
A team of IPFT leaders are also slated to visit New Delhi soon to demand for a separate state for the tribals. The party has been agitating for a new state with areas under the tribal autonomous district council.
The council covers three fourth of total area of the state, but has only one fourth of population in a state 3.6million people.