SILIGURI, JULY 11: The Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP) is in favour of a separate State of North Bengal. Following the recent death of KPP president Atul Roy, who was close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, members of the party’s new central committee feel that the demand for a separate State should not be diverted.
It may be mentioned here that after the death of Roy, his widow Menoka Roy was nominated as the president and the number of members in the central committee was increased from 6 to 25. The 25-member central committee was formed in a special meeting held at Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri district on July 8.
KPP’s new president Menoka Roy announced the names of the new committee members at a press conference at the Siliguri Journalists’ Club today. Atul Roy’s son Amit Roy has also been included in the new committee. It is learnt that the party has decided to involve Amit Roy to lead the party full time and that the 28-year-old has even quit his job in a private company.
Answering a question, Amit Roy said that the KPP’s main demand was recognition of the Kamtapur language and a separate State. “The KPP will support any demand for a separate State for Uttar Banga”, he said. He further said that the members of the party’s central committee will decide in the future as to who will be the Vice Chairman of the Kamtapur Language Academy set up by the State Government in the absence of his father.
It may be mentioned here that after Atul Roy’s death on June 9, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in her condolence message, had mentioned Atul Roy as the Vice Chairman of the Kamtapur Bhasha Academy.
“Deeply saddened at the demise of Atul Roy, who was serving as the Vice Chairman of Kamtapuri Bhasha Academy. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. His dedicated and continuous fight for the people of North Bengal will always be etched in our hearts”, Banerjee had tweeted.
The Kamtapur People’s Party was first formed under the leadership of Atul Roy, but the party split later. While the the Kamtapur People’s Party was led by Nikhil Roy, Atul Roy led the party as the Kamtapur Progressive Party. A few days later, the two camps came together again and formed a team, but later it broke again.
After BJP MP from Alipurduar, and now Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, John Barla, recently voiced the demand for a separate state of North Bengal, the Nikhil Roy-led KPP (United) held a meeting where “likeminded organizations” involved in the Kamatapur movement took part, demanding a separate State.
The meeting was attended even by members of the Greater Cooch Behar People’s Party of Bansi Badan Burman, and Atul Roy’s party. Asked if the two KPP parties would work together, Amit Roy said, “It cannot be said now.” “However, if the principles are one, it is possible to work together,” he added.