Agartala: Chairman of Tipraha Indigenous People’s Regional Alliance (TIPRA) Motha Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarman on Thursday challenged former Tripura Chief Minister and senior politburo member Manik Sarkar for an electoral fight in the next assembly elections from his home constituency, Dhanpur.

Sarkar is the sitting MLA from the Dhanpur constituency, located under Sepahijala district. He has been consecutively re-elected from the assembly seat since 1995. In the 2018 assembly elections, Sarkar defeated BJP leader Pratima Bhoumik, who is currently serving as Union Minister of State Social Justice and Empowerment after winning parliamentary elections from West Tripura in 2019.

According to Debbarman, TIPRA Motha will break the tradition of regional parties fighting only from the 20 ST reserved seats.

“TIPRA will field candidates in the Dhanpur assembly constituency in the forthcoming elections. For years, no tribal candidate got any opportunity to contest the polls despite the fact that a sizable number of electorate belongs to the indigenous communities. They voted but their voices are ignored, no visible efforts have been undertaken for their social uplift,” he told reporters after a joining programme at Ujjayanta Palace.

Notably, about 50 leaders from political parties CPIM, Congress and BJP joined TIPRA Motha during the event.

Branding Dhanpur as a “VIP” constituency, Debbarman said, “Dhanpur is important in the sense that senior leaders of all political parties fought elections from the constituency. Former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is the incumbent MLA from the constituency. Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik has also fought from the constituency during 2018 Assembly elections. Former Minister late Samar Chowdhury also represented the constituency for a long time. But, indigenous people of Tripura did not get any representation. We are set to break the tradition.”

In fact, he said, his party is gearing up to field candidates in all the constituencies where indigenous electors have a say in deciding the final mandate.    

 “We are fighting for Greater Tipraland and wherever there is a presence of indigenous people of Tripura, we are going to field our candidates,” he said.

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