Ahead of elections in Tripura, a party seeking ‘Tipraland', a separate state for indigenous communities, has shot down speculation of partnering with the ruling BJP, or with any other party.
Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma, a former royal and now chief of the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (or Tipra Motha), said today, “I have said it before and I am saying it again that unless we get in writing from the government of India that our demands will be met constitutionally, I will not form any alliance.”
He added in a video on Twitter, “I don't blame the people who don't believe it. In 46 years, after 1977, every regional Tiprasa political party has gone to Delhi and has come back with an agreement before the election. But after the election, Tiprasa doesn't get anything.”
"No alliance — my heart does not agree and so I have made my decision that I cannot accept New Delhi's offer! Jitega toh jitega harega toh harega but one last fight to karke rahega! (We may win or lose, but this time we'll fight for one last time) I can't betray our cause and our people!" he tweeted.
No alliance - my heart does not agree and so I have made my decision that I cannot accept New Delhi's offer ! Jitega toh jitega harega toh harega but one last fight to karke rahega ! I can't betray our cause and our people ! pic.twitter.com/9rRAOZ8GtU— Pradyot_Tripura (@PradyotManikya) January 27, 2023
He said he'd gone to New Delhi for talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “But we have not received any written assurance. Without any written assurance, an alliance is not possible.”
He also wrote on his Facebook page: “Contrary to rumours there has been NO talks of seat sharing as reported with any party! We have received intimation from ministry of home affairs that they would like to talk to us on our demand for a constitutional solution to our demand of Greater Tipraland.”
With elections scheduled for February 16, the Congress and the CPM-led Left have come together, but the ruling BJP is still without a partner.
The CPM has even declared 43 candidates with several new entrants. Sources have told news outlets that the Congress will get 13 seats in the alliance and four will be given to smaller parties.
With a population of over 28 lakh, Tripura will vote for 60 assembly seats on February 16, and results are to be out on March 2.
The BJP will be hoping for a second term in office after unseating the decades-old CPM government in 2018.