CM assures Bodo leaders of PM meet

In what may give more legitimacy to the demand of separate Kamatapur state comprising 20 districts of the two states — 15 in Assam and five in North Bengal — Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi here on Wednesday assured Koch-Rajbongshi leaders to facilitate meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to argue for their demands.
In a move that could upset his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, the Assam chief minister also agreed to start a dialogue on their demands but clarified that it was not in their limit.
Expressing satisfaction over the positive response of Mr Gogoi, All-Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) president Biswajit Ray and general secretary Pradip Ray also claimed to have renewed their long-pending demand of granting Schedule Tribe status to Koch-Rajbongshi in Assam.
Pointing out that the chief minister has made an appeal to them to suspend their movement for a separate homeland Mr Ray, however, said that they are yet to take a decision on suspending their agitation.
In the meeting which was attended, among others, by chief secretary P.P. Varma, principal secretary, home and political, Sailesh, the chief minister assured to look into their various demands, which include an engineering institute at Bongaigaon, allotment of land for Bir Chilarai guesthouse at Guwahati, immediate construction of Bir Chilarai Sports & Cultural Complex with a research centre at Bongaigaon.

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