Senior leaders from both parties stated that the ruling BJP is likely to maintain its alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) for the upcoming assembly elections in the beginning of next year.
Under oath, a senior BJP leader told, “We will continue our alliance with IPFT.” The discussions regarding seat sharing have not yet begun.
In the state’s tribal areas, IPFT is well-liked. The 60-member Tripura assembly has approximately 20 seats that are dominated by tribal groups.
“We will fight elections together with our ally BJP. We have not finalized the seats which we will contest,” a senior party leader said.
In the 2018 assembly elections, IPFT and the BJP fought together and won eight seats. The Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (Tipra Motha), led by Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman, has seen a recent exodus of IPFT leaders, including three MLAs.
Tipra Motha won the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council elections last year and has been expanding its presence in the state’s tribal areas.
Over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 square kilometers, home to approximately 1.2 million people, are under the authority of this council, of which 90% are tribals.
Tipra Motha intends to contest for 45 of the 60 seats in the assembly. It has been calling for a separate state for indigenous tribes called “Greater Tipraland.”
A portion of the IPFT appears to be leaning toward Tipra Motha, and numerous leaders have criticized party president and revenue minister N C Debbarma for being close to the BJP.
Mevar Kumar Jamatia, a former state minister, and Gita Debbarma, his wife, are two IPFT leaders who recently joined Tipra Motha. Jamatia, who recently resigned from the state assembly, was elected in 2018 from the Khowai district’s Asharambari constituency.
Earlier, Burba Mohan Tripura of the BJP had also quit the assembly and joined Tipra Motha.