Pradyot Debbarma
Pradyot Manikya Debbarma.

Tripura royal scion and former state Congress chief Pradyut Deb Barman on Saturday called for unification of all regional parties in the the region.

He was of the view that all the regional parties have similar ideology and are addressing similar problems.

He said all the regional parties are approaching the electorates with similar issues but on different platforms and under various banners.

He was of the view this creates division of votes which is beneficial to the national parties.

Regarding the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the royal scion said Tripura has always been against it and is not acceptable to the indigenous people of the State in the present form.

Addressing media in Agartala, he stressed that all parties should come together and form a common platform of a civil society to place the state’s point of view in front of the Centre.

He informed that civil society organizations from other north-eastern states like Assam, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are putting pressure on the Centre to make reforms in the CAB.

He said during his meeting with union home minister Amit Shah, he made it clear that the indigenous people of the State are dead against the CAB in its present form.

He was of the view instead of political parties representing the State, a civil society should be formed on the issue and place the state’s point of view in front of Amit Shah.

He said if satisfactory response is not given by the union home minister, protests and agitations will continue.

He said that it is a threat to the security and existence of the indigenous people.

He asserted Tripura has been sacrificing with regard to accepting refusing at different times.

He said he had urged the home minister to discuss the matter with civil society members before tabling the bill in the Parliament.

Regarding the repatriation of the Bru refugees, the royal scion said they are serious about the issue.

Pradyot said he had apprised Amit Shah that the Bru people, also called as Reangs, are indigenous to Tripura and the royal family has always been concerned about them.

Pradyot said many of the refugees were original residents of Tripura and had to shift to Mizoram after being displaced, following the construction of a hydroelectricity project at Dambur in south Tripura in 1974-75.

Thousands of Reang or Bru refugees took shelter in Kanchanpur of north Tripura in September 1997 to escape ethnic tension in Mizoram.

At least seven repatriation attempts have failed in the past 22 years.

He argued that the Bru people should be rehabilitated in Tripura with the same package that has been offered in Mizoram.

He also lauded the state chief minister Biplab Deb’s sentiment over the whole issue.

Notably, Biplab has written to union home minister Amit Shah to consider the proposal and sanction the necessary assistance to bring an end to a 22-year-old impasse.

The chief minister spelt out some suggestions in the letter to the union home minister, which includes rehabilitation of the refugees at various places in the State.

He also requested that the home ministry-sponsored rehabilitation package be extended for those who will be resettled in Tripura.

While welcoming Biplab’s gesture, Pradyot demanded the Bru people should be given land with patta in Tripura in clusters and with package.

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