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Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, 1000 IPFT supporters switch to Congress in Tripura

IPFT and BJP together formed the government in Tripura after the 2018 assembly elections by winning 44 out of 60 seats in the state.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
April 13, 2019 8:23:06 pm
rahul gandhi, narendra modi, congress manifesto, bjp manifesto, nyay, rahul gandhi on bjp manifesto, lok sabha elections 2019, election 2019, indian express, india news, latest news Congress has appealed people to exercise their right to vote without fearing hooliganism. 

In a major setback for the ruling alliance in Tripura, 1000 Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) youth supporters Saturday joined the Congress. The supporters said that they feel as if the IPFT has handed over all its powers to the BJP.

Speaking to reporters, state Congress president Pradyot Kishore Debburman said that 300 youth IPFT supporters joined Congress. Meanwhile, 700 other party supporters came into Congress fold in Dhalai district.

Sohail Debbarma, Khowai divisional president of Youth IPFT, who joined Congress, said that the tribal party gained much momentum ahead of the 2018 assembly polls in Tripura, however, he feels the indigenous party has handed over all its power and momentum to the BJP. “We held road blockade on National Highway for 10 days and carried out other movements. But it seems IPFT has handed over the power to Biplab Deb. Maharaja (Pradyot) is working for us. So, we joined him,” Sohail said. He added that more IPFT supporters would join Congress shortly.

IPFT and BJP together formed the government in Tripura after the 2018 assembly elections by winning 44 out of 60 seats in the state.

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Talking about the reasons behind the mass defection, Kishore added that they feel the IPFT leadership has betrayed. “IPFT supporters are coming to us because they have realized that IPFT supremo N C Debbarma, who is not even campaigning, submitted nomination to cut down on votes of Congress and help BJP in their movement for Citizenship Amendment Bill,” Pradyot said. He also added that people in Tripura are fed up with misrule of BJP at the Centre and in the state.

Earlier this month, IPFT vice president Ananta Debbarma and Youth IPFT general secretary Shuklacharan Noatia had also switched over to the Congress blaming an absence of internal democracy in the party.

Referring to the first phase of Lok Sabha polls held in West Tripura Parliamentary constituency on April 11, Pradyot said that BJP supporters had engaged in violent activities on the poll day and suspect similar attacks on April 18 when East Tripura (ST reserved)goes to polls. “People of Tripura can give reply as well. I want to tell the eight to ten goons, who terrorised people, that after elections are over on April 18 your leaders and MLAs will forget you. Then you shall see what we do with you,” he warned.

The Congress leader has appealed people to exercise their right to vote without fearing hooliganism. “Few hooligans can’t intimidate you. If they come out on hooliganism, we shall follow every way to counter them,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Congress delegation from the state met with the Election Commission of India (ECI) requesting re-poll in all polling booths o0f the first phase of elections. The party has alleged that EVMs on all booths were rigged.

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