Tribal body may call off poll boycott

Subhadeep Saha

JALPAIGURI, April 18 : The political parties in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar can now breathe easy. The Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad, which had called for poll boycott, today indicated it might withdraw the call.

The hint came from the ABAVP state president, Mr Birsha Tirkey after a meeting with the state chief secretary, Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty in Jalpaiguri today. “Our delegates met the chief secretary and informed him of our demands. The tribal people of the region are suffering from numerous problems and the state government is not taking notice of it. After meeting Mr Chakrabarty we are convinced that the state government at least understands our demands. We discussed the issues threadbare and are satisfied with the outcome of the meeting,” Mr Tirkey, said.

According to Mr Tirkey, the ABAVP state committee would hold a review meeting in Kolkata tomorrow and discuss the poll boycott issue. “Mr Chakraborty today assured us of another meeting regarding our demands within a fortnight after the election. He also urged us against violating law and order in the Dooars during the election and to cooperate with the administration. We assured him that the ABAVP would always help the state government but it should also reciprocate,” he added.

The local ABABVP leadership also indicated about withdrawing the boycott call. “However, the final decision would be taken after considering the sentiment of the regional ABAVP supporters,” they said.
Mr Chakraborty, in his statement said that no specific time and date has been decided for the proposed meeting with the ABABVP leadership. “I just assured them of a meeting after the election and urged them to withdraw their boycott call,” he said.