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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Won’t form alliance with TMC or CPM, says AICC Tripura in-charge Ajay Kumar

However, he did not dismiss the possibility of forming an alliance with royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma-led TIPRA Motha, which recently swept to power in TTADC, the state's lone autonomous tribal council.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: September 1, 2021 8:12:31 pm
Tripura, CongressAjay Kumar leads a Congress rally in Tripura on Wednesday (Twitter: @drajoykumar)

All India Congress Committee (AICC) Tripura in-charge Dr Ajay Kumar Wednesday said his party will not form an alliance with Trinamool Congress or CPI(M). He also said that he was confident that Congress will emerge victorious in the 2023 Assembly polls.

Speaking to reporters at the Pradesh Congress Bhawan here this evening, Kumar said, “There will be no alliance with TMC, and no alliance with the communists. No chance.”

However, he did not dismiss the possibility of forming an alliance with royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma-led TIPRA Motha, which recently swept to power in TTADC, the state’s lone autonomous tribal council.

Kumar said that Congress and TIPRA Motha have a lot of “similarities in agenda” like the desire for autonomy and working for the empowerment of tribals. However, he added that no talks about forming an alliance have been held yet.

Asked if his party would support TIPRA Motha’s call for “Greater Tipraland”, Kumar said Congress shares the agenda of fighting rights of tribals, the poor and the excluded. Issues of autonomy are another common ground, he said, adding that there can be no agreement on contentious issues like any proposal to change the state’s borders.

“This is a national issue…We don’t fundamentally believe in any kind of change in state borders. It has to happen after discussion with all stakeholders. I don’t think we shall be ever discussing changes of the state border,” he said.

Pradyot Manikya’s TIPRA Motha, which contested in the ADC polls in alliance with INPT and won 18 out of 28 seats in the 30-member council, is centered around the slogan of “Greater Tipraland”. This envisages a separate administrative entity for “Tiprasa” or the people of Tripura, and a cultural body to look after the identity and culture of Tripuri tribals in Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and in parts of Bangladesh.

Pradyot has said on several previous occasions that his party would form an alliance for the elections only if he is given a written understanding of agreement on the greater Tipraland issue.

Kumar’s visit to Tripura is part of the Congress’s efforts to quell discontent within the party leadership and manage internal issues. On August 21, Congress president Pijush Kanti Biswas tendered his resignation saying he didn’t get the desired support and cooperation from Tripura Congress leaders.

“I didn’t get expect support and cooperation from here. Unity and cooperation are essential to strengthen Congress. I didn’t want to be blamed for not being able to produce proper results for lack of cooperation. So, I have resigned,” he had said.

However, he later withdrew his resignation letter after he was assured by AICC Tripura in-charge Kumar that all the issues would be sorted out.

Kumar on Wednesday said he has discussed with state leaders and has fixed a timeline till September 20 to make all “necessary changes”, including forming organisational committees at different levels to ensure smooth functioning of the party.

“State committees have to be formed; organizational changes have to be made. We have agreed on a deadline within which changes will be implemented. This will take somewhere close to 2-3 weeks. I think all of it will be done within September 20,” he said.

He also said state leaders would be given a “free hand” and while choosing candidates for the next election, Congress will induct “young and good people” who want to fight for human rights.

Alleging that the Tripura government has failed to meet its poll promises, he said BJP is trying to spread “communal politics of hatred”.

He alleged that political attacks were made upon former chief minister Manik Sarkar, state Congress president Pijush Kanti Biswas and former state Congress chief Birajit Sinha, among others. He further claimed that people of the state want change because they are tired of escalating instances of corruption, violence, unemployment and communalism.

“There are different parties but people want Congress to win. And we are confident of winning,” Kumar said.

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