Guwahati, February 7, 2019:
The National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive (NDFB-P) General Secretary Govinda Basumatari participated in the ‘maha’ rally held at Rowta at Assam’s Udalguri district today. Demands for a separate Bodoland, safeguarding of Bodo interests outside the BTAD area and the scrapping of the new ‘ST Act’ were some of the demands that were made by the marchers.
“We want to remind the Government that the myriad issues faced by the Bodos are entering the 52nd year. We have staged many revolutions, forwarded many memorandums. The BJP party had promised us a resolution of our issues if they were able to form the Government, but they have turned their backs on us”, stated Basumatary.
Basumatary further urged the Government to take concrete steps as holding talks shall not resolve the issue. “The Government is doing everything, including the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and giving ST status to other communities, keeping their selfish interests (the 2019 elections) in mind”, he added.
“The six communities will fight for their rights, no doubt, and Hagrama Mohilary has assured it (the Bill) won’t harm interests of existing STs, but we have seen the Bill. The communities that will be given ST status number 1.5 crores, while the number of existing STs is 35-40 lakh. Thus, 2 crore people will have to jostle for 10% reservation”, he lamented.