Agartala: In an attempt to dispel the veiled attacks of the opposition parties branding TIPRA Motha as a “vote cutter”, party supremo Pradyot Kishore Debbarman on Friday said that had TIPRA been not in the poll contest, BJP would have won 50 assembly seats with ease.
Debbarman made the statement while interacting with the media persons followed by the oath-taking ceremony of party MLAs at the state assembly hall. Pro-tem Speaker Binay Bhusan Das administered the oath of office to new MLAs.
“The polls surveys have clearly indicated that the majority of the Hindu Bengalis have voted for BJP in Tripura. And, the minority vote went Left-Congress combine. The voters of the tribal communities have voted for TIPRA en masse,” he said.
He also referred to West Bengal polls results where it was found that Mamata Banerjee retained power despite the majority of the Hindu Bengalis voting against her.
The basis of Debbarman’s analysis was a study conducted by Lokniti CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies).
He said, “For tribal electorates, TIPRA Motha was the first choice but CPIM and Congress were never their second choice. The survey has a detailed analysis of the voting patterns.”
The TIPRA supremo also stated that neither Congress nor the CPIM has officially made any statements on these lines. “I know there are some elements in all political parties who try to put the onus of their defeat on others. I have every right to fight in any constituency I want. In many areas, my candidates have been defeated owing to a split in opposition votes. In Bagma, Chawmanu, Manu there are ample examples of seats where our candidates have faced defeats,” he claimed.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Debbarman said, “I am very happy that all our MLAs have taken the oath of office in Kokborok. This is a message to the entire Northeast that no one should be ashamed of their identity and you can always work for the protection of your cultural and traditional ethos without discriminating against others.”
On being asked whether he had softened his stand on the issue of Greater Tipraland, Debbarman said, “We would have been in the government had we compromised our stand. The nomenclature may change, but the demand for a constitutional solution will be raised. Our MLAs will surely raise the issue on the floors of the state assembly.”
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On the floor strategy, he said, “We shall wait for the governor’s address and after that, we will finalize how to raise the issues. Our MLAs have charted some key pointers during internal discussions and I am very happy that we have a team of MLAs who are quite educated and informed.”
Sources said TIPRA Motha, with 13 seats, is likely to be accorded the status of principal opposition in the state assembly, likely to be an embarrassing development for the CPIM and Congress. CPIM, which ruled the state for 25 years, has been restricted to only 11 constituencies, while Congress improved its strength from one to three MLAs.
Former Deputy Chief Executive Member of TTAADC Animesh Debbarma is likely to be the Leader of the Opposition, party leaders told EastMojo.
Also Read | Tripura: 44 MLAs take oath; TIPRA Motha members to take oath in Kokborok
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