TIPRA power in Tripura tribal council polls

The newly-formed Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) secured 18 seats out of 28 in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections on April 10.

The BJP won nine seats and one seat was bagged by an Independent candidate.

In the 30-member tribal council, elections were held for 28 seats on April 6 last. Representatives in the remaining two seats will be nominated by the governor on the advice of the state government.

The TIPRA is led by former Tripura Congress president Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman.

The TTAADC area is two-third of the state’s territory and is home to the tribals who constitute one-third of Tripura’s population.

Deb Barman urged his supporters to maintain peace as celebrations broke out with the newly-formed party getting an absolute majority in the elections.

“We have to maintain unity. I appeal to the people to refrain from attacking the party office and houses of the supporters of IPFT, BJP, CPI(M) and Congress. They, too, are our people and we do not want to fight among ourselves. If we want unity, then we have to maintain peace. They, too, will join our party after the elections,” Deb Barman was quoted as saying by a PTI report.

A victory rally will be organised on April 12 at the tribal council headquarters in Khumulwung, about 25 km from Agartala, Deb Barman announced.

“Do not fight among yourself, this has continued for 70 years and let the whole India see how Tipraha maintains unity even after winning the election,” he told his supporters.

Deb Barman, who was the state unit president of the Congress, quit the party in September 2019, citing differences with the high command.

A month later, he announced the name of his new outfit – TIPRA – which was initially a social organisation but was turned into a political party in 2020.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader Radhacharan Debbarma said it was the victory of the people.

“We accept that we lost this election. Why we have lost the election, will be discussed and reviewed later by the party. But at present, we can say that it is the victory of the people,” he said. “People made a promise to one another that they want to defeat the present government, which is what we believe was responsible for the defeat of the BJP,” said Debbarma, the former chief executive member (CEM) of the TTADC.

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