GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - Nine organisations representing the indigenous and tribal communities of the State today joined hands to form a political alternative for the coming Assembly elections in the State. The United People�s Front (UPF), as the forum has been named, will contest the election on 30 seats.
The decision was taken in a political convention on �Equal rights and democracy� held at the Pragjyoti ITA Centre, Machkhowa, today, which was presided over by Bodoland People�s Front chief Hagrama Mohilary.
The UPF will represent the Hills State Demand Council, Bodoland People�s Front, Sanmilita Ganashakti Assam, Rabha Hasong Jauth Sangram Samity, Jimosaya People�s Party, Sonowal Kachari Jatiya Parishad, United People�s Front, Tiwa, All Assam Tribal Sangha and United Bodo Peoples Organisation.
�Coming on one arena was imperative for us so that the small political forces are not marginalised in the politics of numbers. Assam still needs a strong regional alternative, in the absence of which, we have decided to make a foray,� said Hagrama Mohilary, while talking to mediapersons here.
Mohilary also claimed that in 2016, no political party can form the government in Assam without the support of the UPF.
Asking the Union and the State governments to start a fruitful peace process with the organisations engaged in armed struggle, Mohilary added that in the line of the recent Naga peace accord, steps should be initiated to start a peace process with the ULFA(I), NDFB, KPLT, etc. The convention resolved to pressurise the Government for such an initiative.
A 12-member executive committee of the UPF has been formed with Hagrama Mohilary as the president, Dr Jayanta Rongpi as the working president, Biswajit Daimary as the vice president, Ranauj Pegu as the general secretary, Kampa Borgoyari as the spokesperson, and Bhupen Pegu, Jatson Dey and Tankeswar Rabha as secretaries among others.
In its resolution, the convention also supported the demand of ST status to the six communities without hampering the interests of the existing ST people. The convention also demanded proper decentralisation of powers to the autonomous councils of the State, making operational the Mising, Rabha Hasong and Tiwa Autonomous councils by amending the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and also making operational the Sonowal Kachari, Thengal and Deuri autonomous councils.
�We are open for negotiations on the other seats where tribal votes are a deciding factor,� said Aditya Khaklari, chief convener of the convention.