All political parties are trying to woo him.
Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress (TMC) all-India general secretary, will be in Tripura on Monday. The electoral battle in Tripura has been limited to the BJP and CPM. Will the Trinamool Congress (TMC) be able to influence the power equations in the state at all? Earlier, the TMC had fought in the state but failed.
Opposition political parties are looking for alternatives in Tripura. In recent times, Maharaja Pradyot Kishore Manikya has brought huge success in the autonomous district council elections, because of the Greater Tipraland demand raised by Pradyot Kishore Manikya. In the autonomous district polls, the BJP and its coalition partners have been largely defeated in the IPFT polls. Pradyot Manikya has become the winner. The BJP’s ally, the IPFT, came to power in the 2016 elections with the Tipraland issue. But even after three years in government, the BJP-IPFT government is silent.
Pradyot Kishore Manikya has provoked the demand for Greater Tipraland. The calculation is that in Tripura, 31% is tribal vote. As much as 69% is Bengali vote. These tribal votes are reserved for 20 Assembly seats in Tripura on which the formation of the government depends At one time, the tribal vote was on the Left. The next time that Left vote went to IPFT. The tribals are advancing by using the vote as a tool. The Congress says that Pradyot Kishore Manikya “is our friend. You will see it all in December”. The TMC says “we want to talk about the demands of the people of Tripura”. The BJP talks of “building a united India”. All in all, Pradyot Kishore Manikya is at the centre of Tripura politics. And all political parties are trying hard to woo him.
“Greater Tipraland” is essentially an extension of the ruling tribal partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura, IPFT’s demand of Tipraland, an envisaged separate state for tribals of Tripura. The new demand seeks to include every tribal person living in indigenous area or village outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) under the proposed model. However, the idea doesn’t restrict to simply the Tripura tribal council areas, but seeks to include “Tiprasa” of Tripuris spread across different states of India like Assam, Mizoram etc. as well, even those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.
BJP leader Naveendu Bhattacharya said, “We think the tribal brothers and sisters are no different from us. We are in favour of building a united India. The subject of Greater Tipraland is a trivial matter, doesn’t mean anything. Some political parties may speak of their ideology. We believe in one India. I think it is the same culture in the whole country, in the whole of India. Someone can make their own claim. We have our own ideology. I don’t see all these small things that way. I don’t think tribes are different. There is some energy active to destroy the culture. Beware of them.”
Derek O’Brien, a Trinamool Congress MP, said: “We will not run the government from Bengal. The people here will run the government. Of course, we will talk about the people here. Our core committee will speak.”
On the other hand, Piyush Biswas, president of the Tripura Provincial Congress, said: “Everything will be clear in December. But I can’t compromise on Tipraland. Many tribes have been deprived. It will not be tolerated anymore”.
In the BJP-ruled state, the ruling party is gradually coming to grips. And that is why at the beginning, the TMC’s goal is to strengthen the party organization. Bratya Basu and Malay Ghatkara reached Tripura after I-PAC workers were not allowed to step out of their hotel. Leaders like former MLA Subal Bhowmik, former minister Prakash Chandra Das, Panna Dev, Prematosh Devnath, Bikash Das, Tapan Dutt joined the Tripura Trinamool this time holding their hands.
However, Sudip Roy Varman of the BJP, who has been the most talked about in the TMC recently, wrote on Twitter: “Stand firmly on the side of nationalist forces and have confidence in the top leadership.” According to political circles, Sudip’s tweet is a mockery of Subal Bhowmik. So is Sudip Roy Varman going to leave BJP? Sudip has already visited Delhi and met the BJP’s all-India president. There is a possibility of cabinet expansion in Tripura. Sudip Roy Varman wants to see if he gets a place there.