Updated: March 2, 2020 5:35:14 pm
In a bid to maximise their influence in the upcoming Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections this year, Tipraland State Party (TSP) and Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT)’s Tipraha faction Monday teamed up in an alliance Monday.
In a joint statement, the parties said they share similar priorities about opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the introduction of National Register of Citizens (NRC). The joint forum, called United Progressive Regional Alliance, has also appealed to other tribal parties to join them.
In his address at a press conference here this afternoon, TSP president Chittaranjan Debbarma said both tribal parties have decided to join forces since most of their demands are similar like scrapping CAA, introduction of NRC revision in Tripura and granting ‘Tipraland’, a separate state for tribals of the state.
IPFT, which formed government in Tripura in alliance with the BJP in March, 2018, was floated in 2009 with the demand of ‘Tipraland’ – a proposed separate state for tribals in areas under the state’s lone autonomous district council. Shortly before 2018 assembly election in Tripura, a section of the party broke away and identified as IPFT-Tipraha. TSP was floated as a tribal-centered regional party in 2015 over statehood demands.
“Our aim is to bring all regional political parties under a single banner. This will allow us to work out more on our demands. We have held several protests in the past separately, even though our demands were mostly similar. We intend to fight the ADC elections together this year,`” Chittaranjan Debbarma told reporters.
Though election schedule for Tripura ADC, its incumbent executive committee is scheduled to expire its tenure in May this year.
While the tribal parties made their grounds clear on CAA and NRC revision, their stand is still unclear about the upcoming National Population register (NPR) exercise. While NPR data collection is scheduled to start across the country from April, it would start in Tripura from May 16.
“Census surveys were held so many times previously. If it is held like those years, there shouldn’t be any problem. But now they would ask for documents of parents, forefathers. We think it might create problems. We believe there is some objective behind these new questions. We don’t know what it is but the scope of any ulterior motive can’t be ruled out”, he said.
Both parties have appealed other tribal political parties to join hands together. However, they haven’t received any word from tribal parties with higher presence like the ruling IPFT or INPT. BJP has expressed interest in alliance with IPFT recently while the latter claimed it would contest in maximum number of seats, whether with an alliance or not.
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