Tripura: TIPRA Motha says supporters can vote as they please in by-polls
Earlier, Tipra Motha stated that the party's goal was ensuring a “constitutional solution” for the tribal people of the state instead of fighting the by-elections.

Agartala: Tripura Leader of the opposition Animesh Debbarma on Friday said that the Central Committee of TIPRA Motha had decided to give free hands to the voters of his party to cast their votes in the September 5 by-elections instead of imposing any decision from the party top level.

“Our voters are free to vote whoever they want to vote in the by-elections. We are leaving the decision on their judgment and wisdom”, Debbarma told reporters at a press briefing here in Agartala barely 72 hours before the vocal campaign for the polls in Boxanagar and Dhanpur in Sepahijala district are slated to end.

The announcement came as the formal stand of the state’s principal opposition party that abstained from contesting the elections citing that they were more focused towards the goal of ensuring a “constitutional solution” for the tribal people of the state instead of fighting the by-elections.

Speaking on the issue, TIPRA Motha president BK Hrangkhwal said, “Our stand is very clear. Since we don’t have any political understanding with either of the sides who are contesting the elections, we shall not interfere in the polls and choice of the electorates.”

To a specific question over the successive meetings between TIPRA Motha founder Pradyot Kishore Debbarman and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Hranghkhwal said, “We don’t have any reasons to extend support to the BJP. The talks are on but we have not received any positive signal from the central government pertaining to our demands for a constitutional solution. Even today, the Centre tells us that they are ready to accept our demand based on some grounds, the scenario could have been different. There is scope to hold meetings with our voters.”

On the CPIM’s claims of opposition unity, the Leader of the Opposition said, “There were meetings between the opposition parties. CPIM legislative party head Jitendra Choudhury hosted the meetings where several issues came for discussion. The point is both the opposition party candidates belong to CPIM. They did not discuss anything before the announcement of the candidates; neither with us nor with the Congress party. The statements of Congress leaders are in the public domain. Had the candidates been declared based on a consensus and understanding we could have stayed with the opposition bloc.”

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On the campaign activities carried out in recent times, Debbarma said, “There was nothing related to the polls. All our leaders toured Dhanpur and Boxanagar for organisational activities.”

Debbarma also stated that one of the key reasons for TIPRA Motha opting out of the contest was to give BJP and CPIM a scope for a fair fight. “After the 2023 assembly elections, we have been branded as a villain for the division in votes. The BJP alleged that we had been playing on the side of the Left while the Left dubbed us as the fifth column of the BJP. We want to clean our image from this political slugfest as well. Both BJP and CPIM are now free to test their strengths,” said Debbarma.

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