Tripura's TMP urges all parties to join stir on Wednesday

Agartala, Feb 27 (IANS): Tripura's main opposition party, Tipra Motha Party (TMP), on Tuesday urged all political parties to join the agitation on Wednesday, announced in protest against the Centre’s "dilly dallying approach” in giving constitutional solutions to the tribals’ problems.

The TMP, which has been demanding 'Greater Tipraland' or a separate state for the tribals under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, would block state's lifeline NH-8. Party’s supremo and former royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman will launch a fast-unto-death hunger strike soon if the Centre does not accept his party's demands at the earliest.

Deb Barma, who returned here on Monday night after holding a meeting with the Home Ministry officials in Delhi, on Tuesday said that they are not ready to accept any verbal assurance and wanted a written assurance from the Centre towards their demands.

“What we asked for is according to the Indian constitution. We want fulfillment of the assurance given by the Centre. We want the government to fulfil the tribals' constitutional and land rights related issues,” the TMP chief told the media and urged all political parties to join their agitation for the interest of the tribals.

Deb Barman on Monday night held a meeting with the senior leader of the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and Minister Sukla Charan Noatia and discussed the TMP’s demands and agitation.

The IPFT is the ally of the ruling BJP, which often tries to take TMP’s support to gain tribal votes.

Deb Barman announced that the road block agitation on the National Highway-8 on Wednesday would be held at Hatoi Katar (Baramura) and it would be non-partisan.

TMP President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, a former militant leader-turned-politician, while talking to the media, emphasised the party's frustration with the Central government's prolonged delay, and alleged that the Union government is deliberately delaying in addressing the ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand and fulfilling the constitutional rights of the tribals.

Deb Barman has been holding a series of meetings with the Central government officials, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Tripura CM Manik Saha and senior BJP leaders for more than one year to fulfil the TMP's demands.

“I am ready to die for the cause of the tribals. My only target is to resolve the economic and constitutional problems of the tribals,” he said.

After the TMP wrested the power in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in April 2021, the party intensified their agitation in support of their ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand, which has been strongly opposed by the ruling BJP, opposition CPI-M led Left Front, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties.

The TTAADC, which has a jurisdiction on over two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area, and is home to over 12,16,000 people, of which around 84 per cent are tribals, is, in terms of its political significance, second most important constitutional body after the Tripura Assembly.

Political pundits said that both the TMP and the IPFT, to capitalise the tribal vote bank, raise tribal-centric demands like upgradation of the TTAADC as a separate state for the tribals even though they are fully aware that such demand would never be fulfilled.

The TMP, in its maiden electoral battle, fielded 42 candidates, including 20 on tribal reserved seats, in the last year's Assembly polls, and bagged 13 seats and 19.69 per cent votes as it highlighted its demand for 'Greater Tipraland State'.

Following the Assembly polls in 2023, the TMP became the second single largest party after the BJP and got the main opposition party status in the state.



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Title: Tripura's TMP urges all parties to join stir on Wednesday

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