Destination tribal vote, all roads led to Tripura royal palace on Dussehra. Leaders of major political parties made a beeline for the erstwhile Manikya royal family and paid “courtesy calls” on its head, Pradyot took to Twitter to share photographs of Rajya Sabha MP Biplab Kumar Deb visiting the Raj Andar, or the part of the palace where members of the family now live. The former chief minister was accompanied by his wife, Niti Deb, and both were given a tour of the palace.
CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhary was the most unlikely visitor at the palace, the communists having been the monarchs’ staunch critics till the erstwhile princely state was merged in the Indian Union. Sources in the palace termed the visit as entirely apolitical.Senior BJP leader and Union minister Pratima Bhoumik also called on Pradyot and his family.
“I thank all dignitaries across political lines who came and visit the palace on the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami. Personal relationship and courtesy should always be maintained. Also I would like to thank Smt Pratima Bhowmik who visited my place but there is no photograph taken to wish us on this auspicious day,” Pradyot tweeted.
Political observers saw in the flurry of visits an effort to woo the erstwhile royal family that now heads the TIPRA Motha, the ruling party in the Tripura Autonomous District Council. Motha holds considerable sway in the tribal council, where the party has been in power since last year. The party also has a significant stake in the 20 scheduled tribe seats in the 60-member Assembly.