BJP MP says Greater Tipraland demand raised ahead of TTAADC polls farce

Agartala, Feb 23 (PTI) A senior Tripura BJP leader and MP on Tuesday described as a “farce” the demand for Greater Tipraland, a separate state for the indigenous people of the state, raised by two parties ahead of the election in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the ruling BJP, and the newly floated Tripura Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) have decided to contest the TTAADC polls together and demanded Greater Tipraland.

“The demand for Greater Tipraland is an attempt to mislead tribal people with fake promises in the name of unity among them. But it is a farce, an implausible thought,” said Rebati Tripura, the MP of East Tripura constituency.

A separate Tipraland state, carving out the area under the jurisdiction of TTAADC which covers two-thirds of the state’s land, is an old demand of the IPFT to protect and safeguard the socio-economic and political interests of the indigenous people.

The proposed Greater Tipraland includes, besides TTAADC area, parts of Assam and Mizoram and two districts of Bangladesh where the indigenous people of Tripura live.

The tribal people are a strong political force in Tripura as they form one third of the state’s total estimated 40 lakh population.

The election to TTADC was due on May 17, 2020, but it was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The High Court of Tripura has directed the State Election Commission to conduct the polls within May 17 this year.

“Attempts are being made to disturb the communal harmony in the state,” the BJP MP claimed.

He asked when there is no Tipraland, how can one think of Greater Tipraland which includes areas outside India?

IPFT president and Revenue Minister N C Debbarma and TIPRA chairman Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma said on February 19 that the alliance was forged not only to fight the TTAADC election but also for the development of Tripura’s indigenous community.

The IPFT has joined hands with the TIPRA, saying that there are instances that a party which has an alliance with a national party has one with a regional party or group as well.

IPFT general secretary and Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia also recently expressed his displeasure over the performance of the BJP-IPFT government.

On this, the BJP leader said, “Jamatia is the tribal welfare minister and after three years it is not expected from him. He should have worked for the development of the indigenous people.”

The BJP-IPFT coalition came to power in the state in 2018 ousting the CPI(M)-led Left Front government.

The saffron party will soon hold a meeting with the IPFT to decide the future of their alliance, Tripura said. PTI