Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma

The much-discussed alliance of BJP with the strongest regional formation TIPRA Motha in Tripura, could not succeed as Union home minister Amit Shah on January 26 rejected the demand for Greater Tipraland without meeting the leaders saying it was an “emotional claim”.

TIPRA Motha leaders were invited to a meeting with the Ministry of home affairs on January 25 to discuss the Greater Tipraland issue.

Motha supremo royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma has been seeking a written commitment to its demand from the parties that want an alliance with TIPRA in the Tripura assembly poll on February 16.

No party agreed to support the demand of Greater Tipraland curving out from the existing territory of Tripura.

On January 25, the MHA invited a five-member delegation to Delhi to discuss Greater Tipraland. However, they were served a “draft pledging promises to undertake some initiative for the development of the tribe” and sought their response prior to proceeding for formal discussion, said TIPRA Motha chairman Bijoy Hrangkhal.

“We have scrutinized the contents of the draft and found nothing to our demand. It was all about the promises for the socio-economic, cultural, and educational development of indigenous people. It seems like the modalities committee for socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic development had formed earlier as part of the commitment of the BJP with IPFT in 2018 elections. Therefore, we didn’t agree,” Hrangkhal said.

An official of MHA handed over the draft statement full of promises about what the central government wants to do for the protection and financial prosperity of the people of ADC and tribal areas of Tripura.

The promises mentioned have been discussed earlier during the peace talks with militant groups of Northeast, but those issues exist after three decades.

“We couldn’t understand why were we called to Delhi and such cheap things happened to us,” he said, adding that since the beginning TIPRA Motha has been repeatedly saying the same thing that the indigenous people of Tripura suffering from chronic isolation and under development in their own land and Motha wants a constitutional solution of the problems by creating Greater Tipraland under 244 (a) of the constitution.

When TIPRA Motha leaders wished to talk with Union home minister Amit Shah over the issue, Shah reportedly sent a message back to them that they are not willing to discuss Greater Tipraland, which according to Shah was “unrealistic” and if at all any discussion held that will be on the draft proposal of MHA, the Motha leaders said.

Motha spokesperson Anthony Debbarma said they will announce their candidates beyond all 20 ST reserved and 10 SC reserved seats of the 60-member state assembly and TIPRA would fight alone.

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