Agartala: In a major setback to the BJP’s Tripura ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), several of its party leaders on Saturday joined Pradyot Kishore Debbarman– led TIPRA Motha “unconditionally” to support the cause of Greater Tipraland.

The development came following the ouster of influential IPFT minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia from the party.

Around 8,000 people joined the Tipra Motha, which is in power at the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.

Welcoming the breakaway group of the IPFT to the party, Debbarman said, “Around 8,000 people have joined our party to strengthen our fight for the Greater Tipraland. I strongly feel we should all speak the same language to negotiate with Delhi.”

It may be mentioned here that all the newcomers in TIPRA belonged to the sidelined faction of the IPFT led by former minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia. Jamatia was ousted from the party as well as from the newly-constituted state cabinet, led by Chief Minister Manik Saha, allegedly due to his proximity with Debbarman.

The leaders had already announced they are joining a week ago shortly after Jamatia was removed from the state cabinet.

On being asked about Mevar Kumar Jamatia, Debbarman said, “We have a clear position. As long as you are sitting in power with the government we are unable to initiate any talks. The government did not give any clear indication of whether it has accepted our demand or against it. So, unless you are not leaving the post and position, TIPRA can’t be able to open its doors.”

On the BJP leaders often questioning the TTAADC administration, Debbarman said, “Leaders like Minister Ram Pada Jamatia should first consult with his Chief Minister. I feel Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha is in a reconciliatory mood and if his ministers are speaking in such language we have reservations in initiating talks with the government. The minister is even putting his government in a state of embarrassment.”

Reiterating his stand on the non-tribal communities, he said, “The results of Surma assembly constituency indicate that a substantial section of the Bengali voters voted for TIPRA. After 15 days of preparations, we secured the second position in Surma. People of Muslim, minority and Manipuri communities have also extended their support to TIPRA. We are not saying the government should take away their rights, we are just saying that they should protect the rights of the indigenous people. For that, the Government of India doesn’t’ have to snatch someone’s right.”

The royal scion also said that his party’s core philosophy is to maintain communal harmony. “We have been in power since last year. There is no instance of any no-Tiprasa family facing attacks. We don’t want the Hindu Bengalis to be sent back to Bangladesh where they are even in more danger. We have time and again made our position clear and once again saying the same thing,” he added.   

IPFT supremo NC Debbarma, however, could not be reached for a statement on the issue.  

Also read: IIE Guwahati, IIM Shillong ink pact to boost entrepreneurship in NE      

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