The pro-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leaders after reviewing the draft peace agreement received from the Central government's interlocutor AK Mishra, expressed dissatisfaction claiming that the said agreement has “no mention of its primary demand of 88 percent seat reservation for the indigenous people in all levels of elections.”
Addressing the media here in Guwahati, general secretary of the Pro-talk faction of ULFA, Anup Chetia said, “For the sake of the constitutional, political and future existence of the indigenous people of Assam, we demand 88 percent seat reservation in all levels of elections. Only then the future of the people of Assam will be safe and secured. As there is no mention about the demand in the said draft, therefore, the central executive committee of the ULFA’s pro-talks faction has not accepted it.”
The ULFA’s pro-talks faction leaders are still willing to raise the issue again with the central government.
In regards to the draft peace agreement with Government of India (GoI) there are around 12 demands of the faction which includes, NRC updation, Land rights to indigenous communities, ST status to six indigenous communities, Assam Flood to be declared as National disaster, etc.
Though, maximum demands of the faction have been accepted by the GoI, however, there are still a number of demands which yet to be accepted.
On April 28 this year, Central government's interlocutor, AK Mishra had visited the ULFA pro-talks faction in Assam and a meeting was held between them regarding the draft peace agreement.
Notably, the draft of the peace agreement was given to the pro-talks ULFA by the government ahead of Rongali Bihu this year.
Peace talks with the outfit started in 2011, during which it put forward a “memorandum” with various demands.
Meanwhile, urging the GoI to keep the peace discussions with the outfit going, Anup Chetia claimed that all political parties, irrespective of their ideological differences, need to come together in the greater interest of the state and put forth their submissions before the central government for safeguarding the future of the indigenous people of Assam.
“We also seek the support of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma since this (safeguarding the political and constitutional rights of indigenous people) is a political issue,” Chetia added further.
Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed optimism that discussions with the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) will result in a peace agreement by the end of May this year.