Updated: February 28, 2021 11:28:21 am
Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar Saturday took a jibe at the tribal alliance led by royal scion Pradyot Kishore’s social organisation TIPRA, saying the demand for Greater Tipraland was being made to attract a section of “misguided people” ahead of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) polls.
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Addressing a massive gathering organised by DYFI-TYF, youth wing of the Left Front, on Saturday in Agartala, Manik Sarkar: “Tripura was ruled by 184 kings for a long time. They did nothing to develop the indigenous community during their regime. After sovereign Tripura and separate statehood demands, now new demand of Greater statehood by including Bangladesh’s Chakla Roshanabad, Meghalaya , Assam, has emerged.”
He alleged that when the IPFT, a BJP ally in Tripura, was in power in the TTAADC, the district council headquarters became an informal headquarters for the insurgents.
“We haven’t claimed we did all the development during Left Front regime, but we didn’t take at least any anti-people decision,” the former chief minister added.
Tripura ADC is spread across 7,132.56 square km and covers nearly 68% of the state’s geographical area. However, tribals comprise only one third of the state’s population of 37 lakh people. 70 percent land under the TTAADC is covered by hills and forests and most inhabitants rely on ‘jhum’ (slash and burn) cultivation. Apart from the tribal council’s 28 seats, 20 seats in the state legislative assembly are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates while tribal voters are a deciding factor in at least 10 more seats.
The polls to the district council, which was supposed to be held within May last year, was deferred due to COVID-19 pandemic. The state government told the High Court of Tripura that it intends to complete the poll process by May 17 this year.
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