Ahead of assembly elections in Tripura next month, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in the state – the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura or IPFT – convened a “closed-door meeting” with party leaders of Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance or TIPRA in Guwahati on Saturday.
TIPRA party chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma took to twitter and said, “Met the IPFT leadership yesterday and asked them to consider becoming one party! Time is short and I hope they do the right thing,”.
According to sources, the key agenda of the meet was to discuss a possible merger of the two parties IPFT and TIPRA – led by royal scion and former Congress leader Deb Barma.
The meet comes after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s meeting with Deb Barma in New Delhi recently. The CM however ignored questions on the alliance and claimed that matters regarding the Tripura BJP unit were being handled by a separate team.
Deb Barma has maintained that he continues his demand for a separate state irrespective of what decisions are made.
The TIPRA Motha which rules over the Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council on its part has been demanding a ‘Greater Tipraland’, comprising of all areas where the tribals of Tripura live including TTADC areas as well as areas elsewhere and has strategically stated it would support any party or alliance which agrees to its demands.
The party swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections held in April last year, winning 18 of the 28 seats over the ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand in a direct contest with the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance.
The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress- CPI-M alliance are both trying to woo TIPRA Motha into an electoral understanding as the tribal party’s votes will be crucial in determining who will rule the northeastern border state in next month’s election.
Tripura will go to polls on February 16 and counting of votes will take place on March 2. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 2.
(With PTI Inputs)
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