Reacting to the news of BJP’s Manik Saha being made the new Tripura Chief Minister and Biplab Deb asked to step aside just a year ahead of elections, Tripura politician Pradyot Debbarman has said he was “not surprised”.
Speaking to NDTV, Pradyot Debbarman, Chairman of the Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA), said, “I am not surprised. We have been hearing this campaign for the last six seven months that there might be a change in BJP.”
Headed by erstwhile Tripura royal Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman, who resigned as chief of the Congress’ state unit in 2019 over differences with party’s handling of the citizenship law protests, TIPRA won 18 of 28 seats in tribal council polls by defeating BJP last year. The party now poses a strong threat to the BJP in elections due early next year.
Mr Debbarman also questioned “how will BJP go to polls next year by changing the Chief Minister in the fourth year?”.
“This is despite them saying that they have been saying of successful governance,” he added.
He also said that his party is ready to take on any party and is ready to fight elections.
Talking about any possible alliance he said, “If BJP comes with a concrete proposal, which is a constitutional solution for a demand of greater Tipraland, we will talk about it. But if they don’t, there is going to be no alliance with any political party, until we have a constitutional guarantee for our people.”
Mr Debbarman said the BJP has no organisation in Tripura, unlike in Uttarakhand and Gujarat. “If BJP’s top leadership is admitting that the Chief Minister’s performance was not up to the mark, they are admitting that there is a big problem on the state.”
Elaborating on his claim that many BJP MLAs will join his party ahead of elections, he said those joining TIPRA will have to be committed to his party’s constitutional demand of greater Tipraland.
“I am getting feelers for the last six months. If the MLAs cross over now, they may be expelled from their party. Ahead of elections, you will see scores of MLAs who would join our party. But they have to have commitment to the cause. Not because they would want an MLA ticket. It has to be because they are committed to our constitutional demand of greater Tipraland.”