Agartala: Tripura Pradesh Congress President Pijush Kanti Biswas believes his party will play the role of the kingmaker in the upcoming Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
“The Congress party is all set to play a key role in the council formation as people have started coming out in support of our candidates in large numbers after being disappointed by the Left Front and BJP-IPFT government,” Biswas told EastMojo.
He said neither the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance nor the CPIM and TIPRA would get an absolute majority.
The district council has 30 seats, of which 28 are for elected members, while two are nominated by the Tripura governor. It covers 68% of the total geographical area of the state and is home to over one-third of the state’s population.
“The infighting in the BJP and its clash with alliance partner IPFT in the district council has helped the Congress gain momentum. We have received a good response from the people in the hilly areas and are confident of double-digit seats,” Biswas added.
Though the Congress party is contesting the election alone, they would think of a post-poll alliance with parties that would agree to work on their lines.
Biswas said the IPFT had promised Tipraland in the state elections, but never voiced the demand in the state assembly.
“The IPFT fooled the people to win the election with the call for Tipraland, which was a total farce. Now, people have realised the mistake, and they will not repeat the mistake by voting them into power,” Biswas opined.
He also accused the former state Congress president and TIPRA chairman Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman of playing with the emotions of the indigenous people in the name of Greater Tipraland. He said the politics of sentiment would not last for long.
“The TIPRA chairman was very vocal about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens in Tripura while he was with the Congress, but now we do not hear anything from him. He even escapes talking about BJP-IPFT coalition government and CPIM’s misdoings in his poll campaign, which raises doubt against his agenda,” Biswas added.
The Congress has promised to waive off the electric dues, provide social pension to unemployed youth, drinking water to every household, and set up a university for the indigenous people in the district council.
Congress would also send national leaders, including Tripura in-charge Kuljit Singh Nagra, Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev, and Youth Congress President Srinivas BV for campaigning.
The response this time shows that people wanted the presence of Congress in the tribal areas, said Pradesh Congress Vice-President Tapas Dey.
“The response we are receiving in the district council elections would be taken forward to the 2023 state general assembly elections. No other party apart from Congress has worked for the tribal population. It was our government that formed the TTAADC and increased the number of ST seats for the general constituencies from 17 to 20,” Dey added.