PCC President Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman with the leaders and supporters of IPFT party  Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: BJP’s ruling ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) got a huge setback on Monday after its vice-president Ananta Debbarma joined the Congress party in Agartala.

Slamming the IPFT, Debbarma said that the IPFT leaders became luxurious and distanced themselves from people at the grassroots level after winning eight seats in the assembly polls last year.

Addressing a news conference on Monday morning at the Ujjayanta Palace, Debbarma said the IPFT-BJP collation government was formed on March 9, 2018, but soon after that, they forgot their commitment which they made before coming into power.

“I sent my resignation letter to the party’s president and revenue minister NC Debbarma and I support the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections,” Debbarma said.

He also said that the IPFT will not fulfill the demand of the indigenous people of ‘Tipraland’. “Many IPFT supporters blockade roads, protested in different places but IPFT did not fulfilled the demand of Tipraland and I know these will never happen even IPFT would not be able to fulfilled a single promise. The word Tipraland is going to erase soon,” he told reporters.

IPFT is an indigenous regional party formed in 2009 with the demand of ‘Tipraland’, a proposed separate state for indigenous living in Tripura. The new state was proposed to comprise the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, which account for two thirds of the state’s geographical area. The indigenous party allied with BJP and won 44 out of 60 seats in the state Assembly last year.

Ananta also said many IPFT leaders have become luxurious and distanced themselves from common people who propelled the tribal party to win in 8 seats in the assembly polls. “The BJP will not get any tribal votes in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Congress will win in all two Parliamentary constituencies in Tripura,” the former IPFT leader said.

Earlier on April 2, IPFT vice-chairperson Kritimohan Tripura, youth IPFT leader and Belonia divisional head Mrinal Tripura joined Congress along with 400 IPFT supporters.

PCC President and Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman, who joined the news conference on Monday, said their support is conditional to certain demands like direct funding to Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), introduction of Kokborok language in Roman script and scrapping the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and the Congress agreed to them.

Tripura has two Lok Sabha seats with 25,98,290 voters scheduled to exercise their adult franchise rights on April 11 and April 18 at West Tripura and East Tripura Lok Sabha constituencies, respectively. Parliament elections would be held in the state in two phases this year.

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