Agartala, Aug 10: The decision to create a new state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh has enthused a tribal party in Tripura to reiterate its demand to make a separate state.
The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a party that draws its support from tribal people and having only a small support base, has demanded that the Tribal Autonomous District Council (TADC) be upgraded, and a new separate state be formed from Tripura.
The TADC, which has been playing a key role for the socio-economic development of tribals, has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura's geographical area. It was set up in 1985.
Tribals constitute a third of Tripura's 3.7 million people.
The IPFT, which first raised the demand for a separate state several years ago, has so far failed to garner support even from within the indigenous tribal people.
The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Tripura, the main opposition Congress and its electoral ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, also a tribal based party, strongly opposed the IPFT's separate statehood demand.
"We are now carrying out awareness and mass contact programmes among the tribals and a rally will be held here Aug 23 to press for the demand for a separate state. Leaders of such movements seeking a separate state from other parts of the country too will be invited to address the rally," IPFT general secretary Aghore Debbarma told IANS.
He accused the Left Front government of creating a "lame duck institution" having no real power to ensure the development of indigenous people.
The IPFT will submit a memorandum to Governor Devanand Konwar Aug 23 to push for its demand.
"The fundamental problems of the people have not been solved by the TADC. They continue to lose their land. Even the state of Kokborok language of the indigenous people is miserable," Debbarma said.
CPI-M spokesman and senior party leader Gautam Das told IANS: "A small state like Tripura cannot be divided further. The IPFT is merely trying to regain its lost relevance in state politics by raising such an unrealistic demand."
Das said that even the indigenous tribal people do not support IPFT's demand.