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Tribal bodies plan new political
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, Sept 24 - With politicking in the State gaining momentum ahead of the ensuing Assembly elections, another regional political entity is on the anvil that would take concrete shape after a tribal political convention on October 15.

 Considering the tribal population of Assam as a decisive factor in as many as 60 out of 126 Assembly constituencies, the All Assam Tribal Sangha, Co-ordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA) and some other influential tribal bodies of the State have started preparations for a political unity among the tribal bodies with the 2021 State elections in mind.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, CCTOA chief convener Aditya Khakhlari said that a tribal semi-regional political party would be formed through the convention that would bring tribal organisations on a common platform for the cause of the indigenous tribal population of Assam, the interest of which has been overlooked by the successive governments.

However, it needs mention here that a similar exercise was taken up in 2015 ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in the State that resulted in the formation of the United People’s Front (UPF).

“The UPF has been rendered defunct as some of its components like BPF started acting individually, without taking the forum into confidence. Taking a lesson from the past, it would be ensured that in the new political party, each component, big or small, has equal stature. Since we are uniting for a common cause, demonstrating the unity of tribal population would be our top most priority,” he said.

The tribal convention would be held at Pragjyoti ITA Centre, Guwahati.

Among the 21 member organisations of the CCTOA are some influential tribal bodies like All Assam Tribal Sangha, All Bodo Students Union, All Rabha Students Union, TMPK, etc. Besides, Sanmilita Gana Shakti, Rabha Hasong Joutha Sangrami Mancha, Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Parishad, Autonomous State Demand Committee of Karbi Anglong are supposed to come on board for the tribal political convention.

The major demands of the tribal organisations include land rights to tribal people, reservation for plain tribes in Parliament, Assembly, panchayat as well as urban local bodies in proportion to the population of ST (Plains), which is 12.5 as per the 2011 Census, filling the SC/ST backlog posts in various government departments, implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006, securing the land in tribal blocks and belts, etc.

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