BJP MP from Darjeeling SS Ahluwalia raises Kamtapuri language issue in Parliament

BJP MP from Darjeeling SS Ahluwalia raises Kamtapuri language issue in Parliament
BJP MP from Darjeeling, SS Ahluwalia, today raised the issue of constitutional recognition for the Kamtapuri language in Parliament.
Such recognition has been a long-standing demand of the Kamtapur People's Party (KPP). Mr Ahluwalia raised the issue at zero hour in Parliament.
“Many people in north Bengal and parts of Assam speak the Kamtapuri language and a lot of Rajbansi people, who speak the language, live in these areas. They have a rich history and culture. But so far, their language has not been included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution,” Mr Ahluwalia said over telephone from Delhi.
“I have requested the Centre to take initiatives so that the information and broadcasting department broadcasts programmes on Doordarshan and All India Radio on Kamtapuri language too, and the Textbook Corporation include the history of brave personalities like Chila Roy and others belonging to the Rajbansi community,” he added. The KPP has been demanding introduction of programmes and news telecast in Kamtapuri language from the Fulbari Doordarshan Kendra.
Senior leader of the Kamtapur movement, Atul Roy, expressed happiness over the development.
"We are extremely happy that Mr Ahluwalia has raised the issue in Parliament. We have faith in the BJP and we sincerely believe that our demands would be fulfilled through the party," he said. He added that this was the first time that the issue had been raised in Parliament.
Apart from the constitutional recognition of the language, the party also wants a separate state of Kamtapur, comprising seven north Bengal districts and lower Assam districts.
The KPP forged an electoral alliance with the BJP during the Lok Sabha polls.
"BJP had assured us that it would look into our demands, including the separate statehood demand. In an addendum to its election manifesto, the BJP had mentioned that the long-pending demands of the Rajbansi people would be examined," Mr Roy said.(sns)

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