The ruling allies Bharatiya Janata Party-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (BJP-IPFT) in Tripura has been squabbling over the last few days on the issue of seat-sharing in the Panchayat by-elections to be held on September 30 next.
However, in an apparent move to mend fences, both the ruling allies during a joint press conference held in Agartala on Saturday accepted the rift but unanimously agreed on one point – that all differences will have to be buried through dialogue. The BJP-IPFT also decided to expand the State coordination committee comprising party members from both alliances.
The said decision was taken after a series of meetings between the members of the State coordination committee which initially was formed with five members but has now increased to 14 members with seven members each from the BJP and IPFT, respectively.
In a joint Press conference held at the residence of the Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Deb Barman, senior leaders of both the parties stated that the “rift” was caused by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) who allowed its cadres to mix with the members of both the parties. The Press conference was attended by the Forest Minister Mebar Kumar Jamatia and Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman.
The Deputy CM said that these “CPM infiltrators” were trying to create “fissures in the alliance”. Debbarma said that few “ugly scenes did take place between both the alliance members which might have sent a wrong message to the people”. He added that there has been ”total lack of coordination at the grass root level for which the State coordination committee will be divided into several teams who will undertake tours to different sub-divisions of the State to ensure that there is no communication gap between allies at the grass root level”.
The Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia, who is also the IPFT General Secretary, said CPI (M) was trying to “destabilise the State Government but the coalition Government will not allow that to happen”. Meanwhile, the Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman regretted that “cracks” appeared in the ruling alliance and said that both the ruling allies should ensure that such “incidents do not get repeated in the future”.
It may be recalled that at least 19 persons including BJP, IPFT supporters and policemen were injured in a series of clashes in different districts of Tripura last week. The clashes occurred over submission of nomination papers for by-elections to three-tier panchayat bodies scheduled to be held on September 30 next.