The BJP received a major jolt in Tripura on Friday evening as its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) announced an alliance with newly-minted The Indigenous People’s Regional Alliance (TIPRA) for Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council polls.
The announcement was made three months ahead of the ADC elections during a joint press conference by IPFT President and Revenue Minister N C Debbarma in presence of Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarman, IPFT general secretary and Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia and MLA Brishaketu Deb Barma.
The newly formed alliance will be the largest tribal partnership in the state and a setback to the BJP with only three months ahead of the election, which has been on hold since last year.
Speaking at the press conference, NC Debbarma said that his party and Maharaja Pradyot Kishore have been demanding for Tipraland or Greater Tipraland to bring an end to the social-economic and deprivation of indigenous communities by carving out a separate state with all areas under the jurisdiction of the ADC.
“Both have the same goal and moreover, the common people also wish that IPFT and TIPRA stitch an alliance and fight the tribal council polls together,” he said.
Jamatia said that IPFT and BJP formed an alliance before the assembly election to oust the CPI(M) and have succeeded but both the parties have their separate ideology, demands and so there is no bar to form an alliance with any other party or any permission required for that.
“I think BJP will understand, the other party’s permission isn’t needed. My party is not satisfied with the BJP’s performance and implementation of the poll promises for tribal welfare and development but we are still continuing the alliance and are in the government as it is the people’s mandate,” he said.
Meantime, Pradyot claimed ‘thancha’ (unity) over ‘Kokborok’, the lingua franca of the state’s indigenous people, had been achieved as 95 per cent of tribal parties are with TIPRA on the issue of Greater Tipraland.
“We are organising a mega rally on February 24 to push for Greater Tipraland. We are confident the mindset of Tiprasa will be reflected in the rally,” he said.
N C Debbarma, however, clarified that the alliance with the BJP is safe and shall continue but since BJP is a national party, it has its national agenda but his party along with the national issues also has to give importance to the local issues. (ANI)