Tripura Chief Minister Expresses Optimism on Resolving Manipur’s Problems, Discusses Tipra Motha and BJP’s Prospects

Tripura CM Saha

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, who successfully led the BJP to power in the state earlier this year, remains positive about finding solutions to the problems faced by the neighboring state of Manipur. In an exclusive interview with PTI, Saha acknowledged the ongoing ethnic clashes in Manipur but expressed his belief that the issues would be resolved in due course.

He further stated that the BJP has been making progress in the tribal belt of Tripura, which was previously dominated by the tribal outfit Tipra Motha. According to Saha, Tipra Motha is currently dealing with its own internal challenges, potentially creating opportunities for the BJP to gain ground in the tribal areas.

The four-year-old Tipra Motha, led by Prodyut Manikya Debbarma and Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, has been engaged in discussions with both the Tripura government and the Central government. The tribal party seeks a tribal-controlled Greater Tipraland and more autonomy and funds for the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which it currently controls.

In parallel, ethnic clashes have erupted in Manipur over the past three months, leading various tribal communities, including the Kuki, to demand a separate administration or greater autonomy from Manipur as a potential solution to the ongoing race riots.

Despite the stalled talks between the Tripura government and Tipra Motha, Saha believes that the political deadlock will not affect the BJP’s prospects in the upcoming 2024 Parliamentary elections. He suggests that there are internal dissensions within Tipra Motha, and the BJP is making inroads into the tribal areas through its own strength and tribal organizations.

In the 2023 Tripura assembly elections, Tipra Motha secured 13 seats out of 60 and gained nearly 20 percent of the votes, significantly contributing to the BJP’s victory in non-tribal majority constituencies.

Saha highlighted the persistent efforts of the RSS and BJP in engaging with tribal communities, while the Congress and CPI(M) also maintain their influence in the tribal regions. Although speculation circulates regarding Tipra Motha’s possible alliance with the BJP government as part of a ‘peace’ deal, Saha denied any such proposal at present but remained open to future negotiations, emphasizing that “in politics, everything is possible.”

Speaking confidently about the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Saha expressed assurance that the BJP would secure both seats from Tripura, one of which is reserved for tribals. He attributed the party’s success to the Prime Minister’s Act East policy, which has led to various infrastructure projects, including highway and railway constructions, further connecting the northeastern states with mainland India.

The Chief Minister also highlighted strategic road and railway projects through Sabroom in Tripura to Chittagong, which would enhance connectivity to Southeast Asia, and a railway line through Bangladesh, reducing travel time to Kolkata.

Chief Minister Manik Saha’s interview sheds light on the BJP’s ambitions in Tripura, the efforts to resolve issues in Manipur, and the party’s prospects in future elections. The evolving political landscape in the region and ongoing dialogue between various stakeholders will play a crucial role in shaping the political dynamics in the coming months.



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