AGARTALA, April 25 - The IPFT, an ally of the ruling BJP in Tripura, today threatened to launch a movement unless an �inter-ministerial modality committee� was formed within the next three months and also demanded another Cabinet berth in the Biplab Kumar Deb Ministry.
The inter-ministerial modality committee will study the socio-economic and cultural issues of the indigenous people of the State, Indigenous People�s Front of Tripura (IPFT) vice president Ananta Debbarma told reporters here. He claimed that Centre had, on January 8, announced to form the committee after an IPFT delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
�We are waiting to be updated about the inter-ministerial modality committee, to be formed by Ministry of Home Affairs. If it does not start functioning within the next three months, we shall launch a democratic movement,� Debbarma said.
Demanding one more Cabinet berth for the IPFT, he said, �There is a provision for a 12-member Cabinet. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has filled up nine positions and kept three vacant. We were given two berths in the Cabinet, we can get one more.� In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP has 36 legislators, IPFT eight and CPI(M) 16.
To a question, Debbarma said the demand for a separate �Twipraland� had emerged in the State in the late 1990s over the issue of backwardness of the tribal people, living mainly in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council areas.
�It remains to be seen how the modality committee studies our problems and how the Centre addresses our grievances,� he said.
IPFT president NC Debbarma is the Revenue Minister and party general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia has been allotted the Tribal Welfare portfolio in the BJP-IPFT alliance government. � PTI