Assam: Separate statehood body may withdraw support for NDA in 2019 polls

Assam: Separate statehood body may withdraw support for NDA in 2019 polls

GUWAHATI, June 30, 2018 (TNN): Criticizing BJP for failing to fulfil its demands for separate statehood, the National Federation of New States (NFNS) – an umbrella body of organizations demanding separate states across the country – said on Friday that it will decide in a meeting on July 26 whether it will support BJP in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

Most of the constituents of NFNS, which comprises among others organizations demanding the creation of Bodoland, Twipraland, Karbi State, Gorkhaland, Vidarbha, had supported the BJP in the 2014 general elections. But the umbrella body, which held discussions with its northeast-based organizations here on Friday ahead of its core committee meeting next month, said the NDA has failed to address their statehood demands.

NFNS president Shreehari Aney said, "On July 26, we will have a core committee meeting in New Delhi where our different constituents spearheading separate statehood movements across the country will take a final decision. We will decide on whether to go with the NDA, or with the Congress-led Opposition, or maintain our independent stand in the 2019 general elections." Aney added if NFNS decides to stay away from supporting either the NDA or the Congress-led opposition, it will have an important electoral impact in places where the separate statehood movements are going on. "There are seven to eight states were these movements are going on and our final decision can affect electoral outcomes there," Aney said.
The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), which is one of the constituents of NFNS and also an ally of BJP government in Tripura, said it still stands by its demand for Twipraland and it will raise the issue in the meeting on July 26. IPFT youth wing general secretary, Sukla Charan Noatia, said, "Even if we are with the BJP in Tripura, we stand by our demand for Twipraland. The Centre has also assured us that it would look into our demand. So, we will discuss all the pros and cons within our party ahead of the meeting."
 All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) president, Pramode Boro, said even though organizations demanding separate states had supported the BJP in 2014 general elections, their aspirations have remained unfulfilled. "Now after four years, the BJP government at the Centre has pushed our demands into the cold storage. Be it Boroland or Gorkhaland, BJP has failed in its promise. So, we need to re-examine if our statehood aspirations can be still fulfilled by BJP," Boro said, adding that the last talk on creation of Boroland was held with the Centre last year.

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