A delegation led by Pradyot Manikya will meet top BJP leaders today
Hours ahead of meeting the BJP leadership for talks on a possible alliance, Tripura's former royal and Tipra Motha leader Pradyot Manikya Debbarma tweeted this morning that he "has not compromised" and asked his followers to "wait and watch".
In a photograph he posted with the tweet, Mr Debbarma, Tipra Motha's chairman, is seen with party president BK Hrangkhawl.
Tipra Motha, which has been raising issues of the indigenous people of the state, has emerged as a huge success story, winning 13 seats in its first Assembly poll contest.
The BJP had earlier approached the tribal party for alliance, but the talks fell through as Tipra Motha refused to budge from its demand for a separate state. While the BJP won enough seats to retain power on its own, Tipra Motha's stellar show has raised its concerns for the 2024 general election. The BJP now wants to bring it within the NDA fold to ensure that it does not become a formidable rival in the Lok Sabha polls next year.
A delegation comprising the two leaders and 13 newly elected MLAs of Tipra Motha will be meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda in Agartala, according to sources.
Interestingly, Mr Debbarma skipped the ceremony this morning in which Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha and his eight cabinet colleagues were sworn in. He wished Mr Saha best in a Twitter post. "May the state prosper and one under the blessings of Ma Tripura Sundari . As a 2nd largest party in the state we will always work for the interest of the people of the state," he added.
A BJP leader NDTV spoke to has said the party continues to be against the statehood demand. "We are dead against the core demand of a separate Tipraland. We can talk about a Constitutional solution to the issues raised by the tribal party," he has said.
Mr Debbarma, a former state Congress chief, has repeatedly stressed that he would happily sit in the Opposition than compromise on his party's core demand for a 'Greater Tipraland'.