Shah discusses Tripura tribal areas’ issues with Tipra Motha chief, Debbarma says central interlocutor promised

Agartala, 8 Mar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday held discussions with Tipra Motha delegation led by the party’s supremo Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, on issues raised by the indigenous tribes of northeastern state of Tripura.
Debbarma, a scion of the former ruling family of the state, said later to press persons that an interlocutor will be appointed for the process of finding a “constitutional solution” to the issues raised.
The Tipra Motha supremo said, “Our (talks) will be between the Centre and Tipra Motha and added that the Central government would be “officially appointing an interlocutor” .
The meeting which was also attended by BJP President J P Nadda, the party’s Northeast coordinator Sambit Patra and Tripura chief minister Manik Saha, was described as cordial.
BJP’s Northeast coordinator Sambit Patra said Shah gave a patient hearing to the issues explained by Debbarma and requested Chief Minister Manik Saha, who was also present in the meeting, to hold talks with ruling ally IPFT, along with Tipra Motha and social organisations, to find amicable solutions to certain issues.
To a question, Patra, however, clarified that no discussions were held on political alliance or allocation of cabinet berths to Tipra Motha and the discussion was limited to “tribal welfare”.
Debbarma whose party won 13 of the state’s 20 tribal seats and played vote spoiler for both BJP and the Left-Congress alliance in other seats, said “We are not going to join the cabinet until a constitutional solution is found within a stipulated time because it involves the interest of 14 lakh Tiprasa people.”
The Tipra Motha has long been seeking a “constitutional solution” to demands for a separate state of Tiprasa.
While the BJP has made it clear that it is unwilling to concede a division of the tiny northeastern state, its leadership has spoken of a willingness to give more legislative, financial and executive powers to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), that is run by the Tipra Motha party and which is responsible for administering the areas dominated by tribal communities.
Prior to meeting the press, Debbarma, in a Facebook post, said the Union Home Minister has started the process for a “constitutional solution” for the indigenous people of Tripura and an interlocutor for the process would be appointed within a specific time frame.
Tipra Motha, floated by Debbarma two years ago, not only bagged 13 of the 42 seats it contested in the recent elections to the 60-member assembly, but also emerged as the second-largest party in the House.
In his social media post, Debbarma said, “I thank the Home Minister for understanding the genuine problems of the sons of the soil. We successfully got our Bru people rehabilitated in our state after 23 years by signing the Bru accord and today we have started a huge dialogue to ensure that our survival and existence are protected. Issues such as alliance and cabinet were never discussed, only the interest of our ‘dopha’ (society) was discussed.” (PTI)