Agartala: Disgruntled leader of the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) and former minister in the BJP-IPFT coalition, Mevar Kumar Jamatia met Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman at the royal palace on Thursday evening.
During the closed-door meeting, Debbarman posted a photo of the duo on his social media platform with a caption ending with the hashtag—”Thansa” (a Kokborok word meaning unity).
Although both the leaders maintained conspicuously silent on what transpired in the meeting that continued till late night, Jamatia told EastMojo he will formally announce his next political course of action within this month.
“It is a fact that for a time I was not active in politics due to some issues but within this month things will be clear before all,” Jamatia said on being asked about the meeting.
If sources in the IPFT are to be believed, Jamatia is in retaliation mode because of the insult he had faced in the party for his inclination towards TIPRA. Jamitia had been trying to stitch an alliance with TIPRA from the beginning, resulting in him being sidelined by the IPFT.
“A large faction of the IPFT has already left TIPRA citing similarities on ideological grounds between both parties. Jamatia, a close confidante- turned-rival of IPFT supremo NC Debbarma is all set to switch sides with his followers in the party,” a source told EastMojo.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a source in TIPRA said, “The former minister has been in touch with the TIPRA supremo since the days of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections. His rival camps succeeded to launch a coup against him leaving him sulking.
The IPFT did not play fair with Jamatia who worked hard for the party before the 2018 assembly elections. In the absence of NC Debbarma due to health complications, it was Mevar who managed the party affairs single-handedly and he saw the party’s future with TIPRA. But NC Debbarma did not want any compromise with the coalition between the IPFT and the BJP that could ultimately snatch his powers as a minister, the source added.
Sources close to Mevar said, “It’s a fact that most of the MLAs are in favour of NC Debbarma as he is the legislative party head but the whole organisation has weighed in for Mevar, a true organiser in the tribal belts. The split in the party is inevitable.”
Jamatia was elected president of the IPFT but a coup engineered by NC Debbarma earlier this year not only led him to lose the post but also resulted in him being dropped from the Cabinet when Chief Minister Manik Saha allotted portfolios after the bye-elections. IPFT MLA Prem Kumar Reang was the new inductee in the state Cabinet as well as in the party’s organisation in place of Mevar.
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