Former Tripura Congress chief led alliance wins territorial council polls
Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) Motha, led by former Tripura Congress president Pradyot Kishore Debbarma has swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) polls by winning 18 of the 28 seats that went to polls to elect representatives for the 30-member council on April 6. The BJP finished second, winning nine seats and one seat was won by an independent candidate.
BJP’s alliance partner the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress failed to win even a single seat.
The result of the polls declared on Saturday marks the emergence of Pradyot’s party as a new regional force, less than two years ahead of the 2023 state assembly elections. Out of the TTAADC 30 seats, 28 are elected and two are nominated. The results assume significance since 70% percent of Tripura’s geographical area and close to one-third of its population is covered by the autonomous council. The BJP had won 36 seats in the 60-seat assembly in 2018 polls to form its first government in the state defeating the Left Front alliance, which could only win 16 seats.
Debbarma won from Takarjala-Jampuijala constituency. Ananta Debbarma, Animesh Debbarma and Jagadish Debbarma were among the prominent winning candidates from the winning party. TIPRA Motha was a front including the TIPRA ( The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance), Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT-Tipraha) and Tipraland State Party (TSP) and was in alliance with the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT).
Pradyot resigned from the Congress in 2019 and floated TIPRA Motha this year. In its campaign, the front promised to form a Greater Tipraland by including indigenous population living outside TTAADC region in Tripura and also other states such as Assam, Mizoram and even some parts of Bangladesh.
I want to appeal to all through the media to maintain peace. There should be no violence against those who have lost the polls. We are Tiprasa and they are Tiprasa as well. After the poll, we will bring them with us to make our unity bigger,” Pradyot Kishore told the media after the front’s victory on Saturday.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said, “We didn’t field candidates in most of the seats. We are not unhappy with the poll results. Our alliance partner IPFT will discuss their performance.” No reaction from IPFT could be obtained.
The CPM, which ruled the TTAADC for the last three consecutive terms, said it will analyse the results. “We lost the poll. However, we will analyse what led to our poor performance in the election,” said veteran party leader Radhacharan Debbarma.
85.14% voter turnout was recorded during the April 6 polls. The council polls were postponed by almost a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Governor RK Bais ran the council in the interim. The TTAADC was formed in 1982.