Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha on Thursday once again rejected the ‘Greater Tipraland State’ demand raised by the tribal-based Tipra Motha Party (TMP), saying the state government would rather do everything that is possible for the development of the tribals who constitute one-third of the state’s four million population.
The Chief Minister said that from the very beginning, “we are against the ‘Greater Tipraland State’ demand, and we are committed to undertake ambitious schemes and projects on priority basis for the socio-economic development of the tribals”.
Soon after the Chief Minister’s remarks, a TMP supporter posted a tweet to which the tribal party chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman replied: “Let him say what he wants to… that’s his view. Relax, I will always fight for our interest first.”
The TMP, after capturing the politically important Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in April 2021, has been demanding elevation of the areas of the autonomous body by granting a ‘Greater Tipraland State’ or a separate state under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution.
After over a two-hour long meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, Deb Barman said that the Union government would soon appoint an interlocutor to study and resolve the demands of the TMP within three months.
He told the media that Shah has assured that, like in the case of Nagaland, an interlocutor would be appointed to look after and resolve the demands of TMP within three months or a specific time frame.
“If we find satisfactory constitutional solutions to our demands, we will sign an accord with the Central government. Unless and until our demands are resolved, we will not join the BJP-led government in Tripura,” former royal scion Deb Barman said.
Besides Shah, BJP President J.P. Nadda, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his Tripura counterpart Manik Saha, and all the 13 TMP legislators as well as senior leaders of the party were present at the meeting.
Besides the ruling BJP, the opposition CPI-M, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties have been strongly opposing the ‘Greater Tipraland State’ demand of the TMP.
The TMP, in the Assembly polls, won 13 seats out of 20 reserved for the tribals in the 60-member Tripura Assembly.