Tripura CM rejects Motha’s demand for Greater Tipraland

Ambitious schemes for tribal welfare is the priority of the new BJP-led government, Manik Saha said; Tipra Motha chief insisted he would continue to fight for separate State to be carved out for tribals

Updated - September 28, 2023 03:19 pm IST

Published - March 09, 2023 09:07 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Manik Saha takes oath as the Tripura Chief Minister for the second time at a ceremony in Agartala, Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

Manik Saha takes oath as the Tripura Chief Minister for the second time at a ceremony in Agartala, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha on Thursday rejected the Tipra Motha’s demand for ‘Greater Tipraland’, but said that his new BJP-led government would go the extra mile for the development of indigenous communities.

His assertion came less than a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured the Tipra Motha Party (TMP) that an interlocutor would be appointed soon to arrive at a constitutional solution to all the problems of the State’s 14 lakh Tiprasa, or indigenous people across 19 tribes.

Greater Tipraland, an exclusive administrative set-up for indigenous people, is part of the constitutional solution that TMP chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma has been seeking.

“We are against the demand for a Greater Tipraland state but we are committed to undertaking ambitious schemes and projects on priority for the socio-economic development of the tribal people,” Mr. Saha told journalists in the State’s capital Agartala.

Explained | The demand for a Greater Tipraland by the TIPRA Motha 

TMP maintains demand

Prior to the February 16 elections, in which the BJP bagged 32 seats in the 60-member Assembly, Mr. Saha had maintained that the idea of Greater Tipraland was not feasible.

Soon after the CM’s reiteration of his stance on Thursday, Mr. Debbarma replied to a tweet by a TMP supporter: “Let him (Chief Minister) say what he wants to; that’s his view. Relax, I will always fight for our interest first.”

Since sweeping the elections to the politically important Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in April 2021, the TMP has been demanding the elevation of tribal areas to a Greater Tipraland State under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of India.

Profile | Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma | The wannabe kingmaker

Central assurance

This demand took centre-stage when Mr. Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP chief J.P. Nadda met Mr. Debbarma and his party’s 13 MLAs after the State’s council of ministers was sworn in on Wednesday. The meeting lasted more than two hours.

Emerging from the meeting, Mr. Debbarma said that the Centre had assured him that it would appoint an interlocutor to study and resolve the demands of the TMP within a specific timeframe.

“If we find the constitutional solutions to our demands satisfactory, we shall sign an accord with the Central government. Unless and until our demands are resolved, we will not join the BJP-led government in Tripura,” he said.

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