IPFT hails Centre’s move to form panel for tribal welfare

Agartala, Sep 29 (PTI) The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the alliance partner of the ruling BJP, has welcomed the Centre’s move to form a high-level committee to look into the social, economic and linguistic development of the state’s indigenous population.
The Centre had on September 27 issued a notification to announce the formation of the thirteen-member committee, with special secretary of internal security, Ministry of Home Affairs, as its chairman.
The joint secretaries of ministries of Tribal Affairs, Human Resource Development, Health and Family Welfare and advisers to the NITI Aayog and DoNER were among the nine members who have already been included in the panel.
Three other members would be inducted into the panel by the state government, the MHA notification said.
IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said the party was happy to see its alliance partner stick to its poll promise.
The regional party had struck a deal with the BJP over the formation of a panel for welfare of tribal people, ahead of February 18 Assembly elections.
“We thank the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the committee. This has been one of our long- standing demands.
Although Tipraland does not come under the purview of the committee, this is a step towards fulfilling our statehood agenda,” Debbarma said.
The tribal party had been demanding a separate state, ‘Tipraland’, by carving out areas under the jurisdiction of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
Asked why the committee didn’t have any representative of IPFT on board, Debbarma said the issue would be discussed at the next state executive committee meeting on September 30.
The saffron party, however, clarified that it was opposed to the demand of a separate state.
Development would come to Tripura only if people stay united, BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb said.
“Our agenda is united Tripura. The objective of the government is to keep the state united. All issues bothering the tribal people would be taken care of by the newly formed committee,” he added.