Ahead of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) polls, the difference between the ruling BJP and its ally IPFT are widening.
BJP’s junior ally IPFT has planned to go solo in the upcoming autonomous council polls slated for April next year.
“We have informed the BJP’s central and state leadership that we would either alone contest the TTAADC polls or field candidates on all 28 seats,” IPFT general secretary and tribal welfare and forest minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia told reporters on Thursday.
He said as the IPFT has substantial base among the 1.2 million tribal population (out of the state’s total four million populations) in Tripura, our party’s claim to control the TTAADC is totally justified.
Delegation of IPFT led by party president and revenue minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma met BJP’s working president JP Nadda in New Delhi last week and informed him the party’s decision.
The IPFT, which has two ministers and eight legislators in Tripura, is also a constituent of BJP-led anti-Congress alliance Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
Jamatia said that they have informed their decision to NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The BJP and the IPFT had contested against each other in the Lok Sabha polls and elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats and Municipal bodies earlier this year.
BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that though his party is yet to finalise the TTAADC election strategy, it is likely to fight most seats.
He said the IPFT being an independent party has its own ideology.
“They are free to contest the TTAADC polls without any alliance with the BJP. However, they should also maintain the “Jot Dharma” (coalition principle),” he said.