Home Minister Amit Shah visits Koch-Rajbongshi leader Ananta Roy at his residence in Assam

CHIRANG: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday visited the residence of Ananta Roy, the chief of Greater Coochbehar Peoples’ Association (GCPA), in Assam’s Chirang district, and believed to have discussed matters related to the welfare of the Koch-Rajbongshi community.

Roy, who calls himself a descendant of the Coochbehar royal family in Bengal, told mediapersons that the Union Home Minister held talks with him on the long-pending demands of his community that has a substantial population in Lower Assam and the neighbouring state.

Shah, who had arrived in Guwahati on Wednesday night, was accompanied by BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma and Assam BJP president Ranjeet Dass during his visit to Roy’s residence at Chatipur here.

“All our pending demands were discussed at the meeting, and now I can only say that good days are ahead for the Koch-Rajbongshi community,” Roy said.

The Koch-Rajbongshis along with five other communities in Assam has long been demanding the scheduled caste status.

Asked if talks progressed on that front, Roy, however, refused to give any detail.

Roy also clarified that “his outfit, which has the support of 18.50 lakh members, is already a part of the NDA”, when enquired if an alliance with the BJP was in the offing, ahead of the assembly polls in Assam and Bengal.

According to the GCPA chief, Shah was “served a traditional fare, consisting of sweetmeats ‘pithas and tiler laru’, and he enjoyed the meal, and asked for more”.

He said that he had invited the Union minister to his residence during one of his trips to Delhi.

The home minister is scheduled to address a public meeting in Coochbehar later in the day.

Assembly elections in Bengal and Assam are likely to be held in April-May.