TIPRA and BJP in talks over ‘alliance’ in Tripura Assembly election

Party president Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawl is set to join chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman in a meeting with Assam CM Himanta today

Updated - September 28, 2023 03:21 pm IST

Published - January 21, 2023 10:00 pm IST - Agartala

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters take out a rally campaigning for the upcoming Tripura elections, in Agartala on January 12, 2023.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters take out a rally campaigning for the upcoming Tripura elections, in Agartala on January 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) is reportedly engaged in a dialogue with the BJP to settle an ‘alliance’ for upcoming Assembly elections in Tripura. Party president Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawl reached Delhi on Saturday to join chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman to attend a meeting with Assam Chief Minister and NEDA (Northeast Democratic Alliance) Chief Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday, a highly placed source in TIPRA told The Hindu.

“There will be more than one meeting on Sunday which will also see participation of very senior leaders of the BJP,” the source added.

Mr. Debbarman held the first round of meeting with Mr. Sarma in Delhi on Thursday but failed to make headway as the TIPRA chief insisted on a written assurance from the Ministry of Home Affairs accepting the demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’, a theoretical state for the indigenous population with areas of Tripura, selected places of neighbouring States and Bangladesh.

He has been claiming that the demand is very much within the ambit of the Constitution and can be settled by invoking Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. “I can’t betray my people who have trusted me,” he said when asked if he would compromise on his prime demand.

Though the TIPRA supremo has been lambasting the ruling BJP on many issues, he has initiated alliance efforts only with the BJP, continuing to ignore the appeals of CPI(M) and Congress to join the Opposition’s grand alliance.

Political analysts say it will be difficult for TIPRA to directly tie up with the BJP as the party won the tribal autonomous district council in 2021 riding on huge emotion it successfully generated among tribal masses with the ‘Greater Tipraland’ plank and other issues. Moreover, Mr. Debbarman has been repeatedly saying that the 2023 Assembly election will be their “last chance” to achieve genuine rights of the tribals, who were reduced to a minority after the erstwhile princely state merged with the Indian Union in 1949.

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