Ahead of 2014 polls, 10 Northeast parties join hands for new political front

Prafulla Mahanta Prafulla Kumar Mahanta with Neiphiu Rio and senior leaders of north-east regional parties soon after the formation of a new political front . (PTI)

With the 2014 general elections drawing close, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Naga People's Front (NPF) chief Neiphiu Rio joined hands on Sunday to float a new political front — North East Regional Political Front (NERPF)—"to safeguard territorial, cultural, social, political and economic rights of the people of the region."

A meeting attended by leaders of as many as 10 regional parties also demanded a comprehensive amendment of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution with devolution of powers to the states in all matters, except those pertaining to defence, external affairs, currency and foreign trade and demanded scrapping of the concurrent list and transfer of all the subjects in it to the state list.

The newly-floated front also demanded immediate scrapping of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and halt of its use in all forms in the region.

PIt urged the Centre to cancel the land-swap deal with Bangladesh and also demanded signing of a treaty "to deport all the infiltrators from the north-eastern region."

The forum expressed concern over "continued incursion by China into Arunachal Pradesh" and called upon New Delhi to take up the matter with China to bring to an end "any future incursion."

It described China's diversion of the Brahmaputra waters as an act of aggression, and urged the Centre to take the "strongest possible" step to stop this.

"The regional parties express serious concern at the actions of China to build massive dams in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra and attempts to divert the river. The Brahmaputra is the lifeline of NE region and any attempt to interfere with the natural flow of the river should be considered an act of aggression. The regional parties condemn the lack of seriousness on the part of Government of India and asks the Government to take the strongest possible steps to stop the designs of the Chinese government against the NE region," one of the several resolutions adopted in the meeting said.

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