Debbarma-led TIPRA Motha comes long way just three years after its formation - Hindustan Times
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Debbarma-led TIPRA Motha comes long way just three years after its formation

ByPriyanka Deb Barman
Mar 11, 2024 11:31 AM IST

The party joined the state government as the Union government on March 2 signed a tripartite agreement with it and the Tripura government

Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma-led TIPRA Motha has come a long way just three years after its formation. It won the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) polls in 2021 before emerging as the main opposition party in the 2023 assembly polls and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP)-led government this month.

Union home minister Amit Shah with TIPRA Motha founder Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma. (ANI)
Union home minister Amit Shah with TIPRA Motha founder Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma. (ANI)

The party joined the government as the Union government on March 2 signed a tripartite agreement with it and the Tripura government for a time-bound “honourable resolution” of the demands for protecting the economic, political, land, linguistic, and cultural rights of the state’s tribal population.

Debbarma led protest rallies and road blockades to press for his demand for the protection of tribal rights before he sat on a hunger strike on February 28.

The accord signed in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah, Tripura chief minister Manik Saha and Debbarma said a joint working group or committee would be constituted to “amicably resolve all issues of the indigenous people of Tripura”

TIPRA Motha was formed in 2021 to press for the creation of Greater Tipraland as a separate state for the tribals living under the jurisdiction of TTAADC and other northeastern states such as Assam, Mizoram etc, and parts of Bangladesh.

Within a few months of its formation, the TIPRA Motha contested and won the TTAADC polls. The party emerged as the main Opposition group by securing 13 seats in the 60-member assembly last year.

Saha welcomed TIPRA Motha’s inclusion in the government saying it will help to achieve inclusive development and vision of Tripura.

Former chief minister Manik Sarkar said the TIPRA Motha’s joining the government unmasked it. “We are not surprised by their move at all. We thought that they [TIPRA Motha] would wait until a solution came out. The agreement, they signed, also mentioned that they cannot do any agitation. We suspect that there are unrevealed conditions in the accord.”

State Congress chief Ashish Kumar Saha said they discussed with TIPRA Motha its inclusion in the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. “But all of a sudden, it decided to join the BJP government...we are not worried with the move. But the BJP’s anxiety has been revealed...”

Debbarma said the TIPRA Motha will continue to keep pressure on the government. “I have given a clear message to our two ministers who joined the government...we want to send our people to Delhi [Lok Sabha] who will speak for us.”

The BJP has fielded former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb as the candidate from one of the two Lok Sabha seats in the state. It has kept the reserved tribal seat on hold for now. Pragya Kumari, sister of Debbarma, is speculated to be nominated for the second seat.

Political analyst Swapan Bhattacharjee said the BJP is the gainer. “It is not clear what TIPRA Motha has gained. “The TIPRA Motha seems to have moved away from core Greater Tipraland demand by joining the government.”

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