Agartala: The ruling ally, Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Tripura (IPFT), has decided to contest the upcoming Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections separately, if their alliance partner, BJP, does not hold talks on seat sharing.
Announcing this, IPFT assistant general secretary Mangal Debbarma said that doors are open for “alliance talks” with other political parties, including CPI-M.
“Our party is ready to contest alone in the TTAADC elections, which are likely to be held in 2020. Last year, we came into an alliance with the ruling BJP on certain demands but they haven’t fulfilled these yet. BJP made promises that they would fulfill our demands but they didn’t. If they don’t fulfill our demands we can’t stay with them,” Debbarma said.
Debbarma also said that the IPFT has kept its doors open for other political parties, including the opposition CPI-M, for discussion on the alliance. “If needed, we shall contest alone. But we are keeping doors open for other political parties to strike an alliance with us,” the IPFT leader said.
Debbarma also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office has invited them for a discussion on an Inter-Ministerial High Power Modality Committee, formed to study social, economic, linguistic and educational problems faced by indigenous people living in Tripura.
“Like every year on August 23, we will also observe the Statehood Demand Day conveying our demand for the separate state — Twipraland — like every year in Khumulwng, the headquarters of ADC. Leaders from other states are also likely to join us. Due to the celebration of a programme of the party on the very next day, we have requested the PMO for another appointment with the Prime Minister at the end of this month,” he added.
Leaders like Manish Tamang, Pramod Boro and Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma are also likely to be present during the programme.
Reacting on the issue, CPI-M leader Pabitra Kar said that if the IPFT drops their demands of “Tipraland”, CPI-M shall think about the alliance talks. “We can’t support IPFT with this demand. If they say that they will drop these demands we shall think about the talks. They are now detached from the tribal people and their allies are trying to get rid of them. If IPFT leaves its Tipraland agenda, we might consider talks with them,” Kar said.
Meanwhile, BJP has termed it as an internal decision of the IPFT. “It is their decision on how they run their party. We shall not be affected by their actions,” state BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said.