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BJP's Tripura ally IPFT to merge with Tipra Motha ahead of State Assembly polls

Agartala: The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, an ally of the BJP in the North-eastern state, will merge with a regional political party Tipra Motha on July 2 ahead of the State Assembly elections due next year, a senior IPFT leader said on Saturday.

The Tipra Motha, headed by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, demands a separate state for the indigenous people of Tripura.

Addressing a press conference here, IPFT vice-president Jibanjoy Reang said, "After a long discussion, we have decided to merge with Tipra Motha at a programme in Agartala on July 2 to realise the dream of achieving Greater Tipraland."

The Tipra Motha, formed early last year, swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections took place in April 2021, winning 18 of the 28 seats over the 'Greater Tipraland' demand in a direct contest with the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance.

"The main objective of the regional political party, Tipra Motha, is a separate state, as Tipra Land for the indigenous people, tribes of Tripura," Reang stated.

It is to be mentioned that IPFT workers have been unofficially split into two groups, a major portion is being ruled or led by, Mebar Kumar Jamatia, the ex-Forest minister of the BJP-ruled government and a small part is by NC Debbarma, a senior leader of the IPFT party.

Earlier in March, Royal scion and Chairman of TIPRA Motha Pradyot Kishore Debbarman said that his party would like to fight the electoral battle alone in the forthcoming assembly elections if national parties do not agree to give written commitment for the party's core demand "Greater Tipraland".

He also appealed to the Government of India for dialogue on the issue of Greater Tipraland. He also clarified that his fight was not against any particular community and after his party came to power, not a single non-tribal community person living in the ADC areas faced persecution.

"On the other hand, people of Agartala fight with each other over politics. In ADC no one is harmed", said Debbarman.

Among the 20 reserved seats, the ruling BJP now has 11 indigenous MLAs while its junior ally IPFT has eight. The rise of Motha may cause serious electoral blows for the party in power.

In the rest of the 15 seats, indigenous votes play the deciding factor. It is to be seen how the political equations play out ahead of the 2023 polls. (ANI)

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