Agartala: A total of 250 workers from different regional parties like the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) and the IPFT joined the BJP on Saturday at an event at BJP state headquarters in Agartala.

MP from East Tripura parliamentary constituency Rebati Tripura, BJP vice-president Rajib Bhattacharjee and newly-appointed vice-president of Tripura Pradesh BJP Patal Kanya Jamatia, an indigenous rights activist, welcomed the newcomers into the party fold.   

All the new entrants hail from tribal-dominated constituencies like Takarjala, Golaghati and Jampuijala areas, which are deemed as strong bastions of the TIPRA and IPFT.

Patal Kanya Jamatia, on Saturday, said that a lot of indigenous leaders who are either snubbed or feeling unimportant in regional political parties has shown interest to join the saffron party.

According to Jamatia, “The joining spree that the BJP has witnessed, of late, in the tribal-dominated areas is just a beginning of a new political equation in Tripura.”

Jamatia was once recognized for her extremely parochial statement against the majority Bengali community but on the day of joining the BJP, she made a clarion call of “greater unity” among tribes and non-tribes in an oblique counter to the “Greater Tipraland” slogan coined by TIPRA Motha chief Pradyot Kishore Debbarman.

She said, “I don’t have exact figures on how many people joined the BJP under my leadership but I can assure you that it is just a beginning. A lot of people holding plum posts in other parties are eager to join us. Many leaders have already contacted us to join BJP before the elections.”

Speaking on the issue, MP Rebati Tripura said, “Over 250 voters from CPIM, IPFT and TIPRA joined the BJP. They have shown interest in joining the BJP months back but due to some unforeseen reasons they could not be officially welcomed in the party.”

Slamming TIPRA for unleashing terror in the TTAADC areas, the MP said, “People in TTAADC areas are not being allowed to join the BJP. All our workers are facing the brunt in the form of intimidation or threats. This is why the joining programme has been organized here in the state party headquarters instead of their villages.”

According to the party statement, 25 IPFT voters joined the BJP under the leadership of Youth leader Lebi Chandra Jamatia, 200 voters from CPI(M) under the leadership of CPI(M) leader Amit Debbarma and 20 voters from TIPRA under the leadership of Ananta Jamatia joined the saffron party during the programme.

“BJP is still the strongest party and these joining programmes prove that,” claimed Rebati Tripura. 

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