NEW DELHI, Oct 30 - Upset with the delay in progress of the peace process, the pro-talk faction of the ULFA on Tuesday pressed the Centre to sign an accord with the outfit before the Lok Sabha election.
A delegation of the pro-talk faction led by general secretary Anup Chetia, Raju Baruah, Chitraban Hazarika and Shasha Choudhury held a discussion with the Centre�s interlocutor AB Mathur and senior officials of the Home Ministry.
Sources said the pro-talk leaders expressed their dismay at the delay in signing of an accord though the formal peace dialogue has concluded. The group demanded that a formal memorandum of settlement (MoS) be signed before the Lok Sabha election due next year.
Later, briefing newsmen, Anup Chetia said they held discussion on their charter of demands and the current political scenario in the State. About signing of the accord, he said that they don�t want to sign an accord just for the sake of signing. �We want to sign an accord that will be meaningful,� Chetia said.
It has been learnt that one of the hurdles in the peace process is according scheduled tribe (ST) status to six communities of Assam. Apart from procedural delay, the Centre is also alarmed over the reaction of the tribals. The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam (CCTOA) had warned that if the six majority communities are granted the ST status, it would eliminate the political representation of the existing ST people from gram sabha to Lok Sabha, and also their representation in education and government jobs forever.
Last year, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram informed that the final report of the committee constituted to study and recommend the modalities for completing the process, will be submitted by December.
The committee, to be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, Mahesh Kumar Singla, held consultations with the Assam government and suggest the modalities for the required reservations and shifting the existing reservation for these communities from OBC to ST.
Further, the pro-talk faction had in May threatened to derail the peace process with the Centre if the Narendra Modi government went ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Pro-talk ULFA�s eight-member delegation had conveyed its strong opposition during a meeting with Mathur alleging that the Bill would reduce the indigenous people of the State to minority.