Agartala: The much-talked-about meeting between the TIPRA motha leaders and Ministry of Home Affairs officials reportedly ended on a futile note as the former received no written assurance on its core demand of “Greater Tipraland”.
Pradyot Kishore Debbarman-led party has been demanding a constitutional solution for “Greater Tipraland”, a separate state carved out of the sixth schedule areas of the state. It does not stop here, the Greater Tipraland also speaks about a greater socio-cultural and economic development council for the Tiprasa community people now living out of the geographical territory of the sixth schedule areas. In a video message to the party workers, the party supremo confirmed that a meeting took place between the Ministry of Home Affairs and TIPRA leaders, but their demands were not accepted.
He said, “We went to Delhi because had we not responded to their invitation, the Government of India could have said that we did not respond to their invitation. We heard what they said. One thing is clear from the discussion: they haven’t given anything in writing. I want to tell my Tiprasa warriors and the whole community that there will be no alliance in these elections.”
Requesting the media not to disturb him, Debbarman said, “Today, we are announcing the names of candidates and we shall fight these elections to defeat those who are against our demand. Be ready, we may face victory or defeat but we shall put up one last fight.”
On speculations running thick and fast, the royal scion said, “This is not the fault of the people. For the last 46 years, regional parties signed agreements with the national parties and after the elections our community received nothing.”
Meanwhile, opposition CPIM has raised serious questions on the role of the Ministry of Home Affairs and claimed that for political reasons the government of India violated the Model Code of Conduct that came into force soon after the polls were declared.
Speaking to EastMojo, CPIM state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury said, “This is completely wrong on the part of the Ministry of Home Affairs. We are not going to blame TIPRA motha. Definitely, they have been agitating about the demand and if they are invited they will go. It is wrong on the part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, particularly, Union Home Minister Amit Shah. This is a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct. We shall soon write this to the Election Commission of India.”
Parties like Congress and All India Trinamool Congress, however, disagreed with Chowhdhury. “MHA can meet anybody, this is not a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. However, if an order issued in regard to the meeting which could have acted as an inducement to the voters might be considered as a violation,” former MLA and Congress leader Asish Kumar Saha told EastMojo.
Trinamool Congress Tripura state president and senior advocate Pijush Biswas also spoke on similar lines as he said, “The MCC violation comes when assurances are made to influence the voters. The meeting does not come under the purview of the MCC as far as I understand.”
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On the other hand, senior advocate Purushottam Roy Barman contesting as an independent candidate from the Ramnagar constituency of Agartala termed this as an MCC violation. “This meeting aims to influence a large section of the voters. In my view, this is against the Model Code of Conduct. I don’t know how the Election Commission of India is going to react to that but it does violate the MCC,” he told EastMojo.
On being contacted, a senior ECI official dismissed violation claims as a purely political statement. “Neither the MHA has issued any official document or circular pertaining to the meeting in question nor has the political party made anything public in official form. This is a political statement so we can’t take cognizance of that,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
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