Agartala, Mar 15: Tribal politics in Tripura got a new twist just two months before the crucial elections to Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) with the merger of National Conference of Twipra (NCT) with Indigenous Nationalist Front of Tripura (INPT) and formation of INPT (U).
NCT, the rebel fraction of INPT, was born in 2006 under the leadership of tribal stalwart Rabindra Kishore Debbarma. After losing in the 2008 election as INPT nominee, former MLA Animesh Debbarma had taken over the party but could not make a significant impact on state politics during the past decade. Since last assembly elections in 2018, Animesh Debbarma had come closer to INPT as a partner and contested the election but lost in contest.
He continued to support INPT against Citizenship Amendment Bill movement. Recently, Citizenship (Amendment) Act has polarized the tribal vote bank over the demand of NRC in Tripura to identify the illegal migrants. Though BJP’s ally in the government, IPFT supported the move of other political parties against CAA and the demand of NRC, IPFT could not openly join hands with the other parties because of its alliance obligation with the BJP despite huge disagreements between the ground-level workers of the two parties.
IPFT has also decided to fight the ADC polls jointly with BJP if they are allowed to field candidates on at least 20 seats of the 30 members’ council. According to reports, tribal parties have come together ahead of ADC election to prevent BJP, Congress and CPI (M) into power. Despite being an alliance partner of BJP in Tripura, IPFT had fought the last Lokb Sabha and the three-tire panchayat elections separately. The IPFT legislators have been unhappy with their leadership and the functioning of the state government and both the ministers from IPFT in Biplab Kumar Deb’s government have been under tremendous pressure from their followers.
Meanwhile, the leaders of INPT (U) asserted that it would play a crucial role in the upcoming polls to the ADC as a strong political power. (UNI)