Guwahati: With Tripura, all set for polls on February 16, royal scion and TIPRA Motha chief Pradyot Manikya Debbarma met Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in New Delhi, possibly to discuss a potential alliance with the BJP on Thursday morning.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Manikya said he had “made his position very clear” to the Assam Chief Minister, who is considered the BJP’s main troubleshooter in the Northeast Indian region.
Asked how he felt after discussing election equations with Biswa Sarma, Manikya said that he exited the meeting “feeling that he had not let his people down.”
“He was polite. He is always polite. We have a good relationship. We have known each other since we were both in Congress. I respect him personally, and I like him a lot. However, no friendship can be bigger than my people,” Manikya said.
“Until our demand is fulfilled, we will not budge from our position. We will carry on with our movement for a Greater Tipraland,” he added.
The TIPRA chairperson then went on to compare the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “movement” to have a temple built on disputed land in Ayodhya to the demand for a separate ‘Tipraland’ for the indigenous people of Tripura.
“The BJP was never asked whether the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be a possibility,” Manikya snapped back at the media when asked about his vision for a Greater Tipraland. “Just as the BJP built a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and abolished Article 370 and Triple Talaq in accordance with its ideology, we too have a movement for a Greater Tipraland,” he added.
“As long as we do not get assurance for a Greater Tipraland in writing, we will not ally with anyone,” Manikya said, adding that the “demand for a Greater Tipraland cannot be negotiated for any post or any alliance.”
He further stated that an alliance is out of the question “as long as our people are not assured a Constitutional solution under Articles 2 and 3 in writing.”
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When it comes to the BJP, simply giving a “written assurance” will not suffice.
“The assurance will have to be from the government. It is because a Constitutional solution can only be provided by the government,” he added.
According to Manikya. his party will be entering the election fray with only one goal – to win. “We will float candidates in 40-45 Seats. Our goal is to win the election on our own,” Manikya added.
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