Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, chairman of Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) which has emerged as a strong regional party in Tripura, has ruled out the possibility of any defection in his party. The royal scion said he was fighting for the rights of indigenous people and not to grab power, and the ranks of the party would never compromise with the demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’, a theoretical State for the indigenous communities of the State and even those residing outside.
“Our fight is to achieve the rights of the Tiprasa [indigenous] people and not exactly for power. Everyone in the party understands this,” Mr. Debbarman said.
A section of the local media earlier reported that there could be a defection in the TIPRA as attempts were being made to lure leaders. The reports also claimed that some senior leaders of the party had been receiving phone calls with offers to switch sides.
On the issue of forging an electoral alliance with a major party as countdown for the Assembly election has begun, Mr. Debbarman said the TIPRA would accept the offer for a coalition if the national party gave a commitment in writing, justifying the demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’.
The TIPRA, the ruling party in the tribal autonomous district council, has been boosted with the entry of four MLAs — three from the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and one from the BJP — after they resigned from the Assembly. In a recent development, the party inducted former Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia who played a major role in forging the IPFT’s alliance with the BJP ahead of 2018 Assembly election.