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Telangana ripples in Assam's vallies

By K Anurag
Last updated on: December 12, 2009 10:41 IST
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The Telangana issue has rekindled Bodo tribe's demand for statehood in Assam besides adding fire to the long-standing statehood demands of different other ethnic communities including Karbi, Dimasa, Koch-Rajbongshi.

However, the ruling Congress said it would not divide the state. In response to a motion initiated by Bodo People's Front (BPF) which is the only coalition partner of ruling Congress, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said though there had been demands for creation of separate states by various ethnic communities, the government did not favour further division of the state.

"We are for over-all development of all communities in the state and hope all of them will aspire to live together. We don't favour creation of any more state in response to statehood demand of various ethnic groups," Gogoi said.

Twelve legislators of the BPF, a political party formed by former members of the now disbanded militant group Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) after signing of the Bodo Peace Accord in 2003,have revived their old demand for a separate 'Bodoland' out of Assam and wanted the state government to clarify its stand.

BPF leader Chandan Brahma, a minister of Transport and Rural Development in Assam, said there was no alternative to Bodoland after the Centre's move to create a Telangana state.

Meanwhile, Dilip Nunisa-led pro-talks faction of Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), a Dima tribe militant group in truce has stated that 'Telengana' will be a boost to its long-standing demand for a separate state of Dimasa tribe in Assam.

Similar view has been aired by the Karbi tribe militant group in truce, United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) which too has been fighting for a separate state for Karbi tribe in Assam.

Other groups that have been demanding a separate stat for their respective tribe are DHD (Jewel Garlosa faction), pro-talks faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and militant Karbi Longri North Cachar Liberation Front (KLNLF).

The Koch-Rajbongshi community has been agitating for a separate Kamatapur state comprising parts Assam and neighbouring West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the main Opposition party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) also declared its opposition to formation of more states.

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K Anurag in Guwahati