Tripura ‘princess’ Pragya Deb Burman is the Congress candidate from East Tripura (ST reserved) constituency for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
‘Maharajkumari’ Pragya Deb Burman is a social worker and is a relatively new entrant in politics, however, her father Maharaj Kirit Bikram and mother Bibhu Kumari Devi were both Members of the Parliament after winning polls on Congress ticket from Tripura.
Bibhu Kumari, popularly known as Raj Mata, also served as a minister in the State during the Congress-TUJS coalition government from 1988 to 1992.
The Tripura Congress chief is Pragya’s younger brother Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, who is also called Maharaj.
Congress party which unlike the Left Front or the ruling BJP does not have any strong tribal grassroots leadership and has been traditionally dependent on regional tribal parties or the royal Manikya dynasty of Tripura for consolidating the indigenous voters.
In Tripura, the tribal vote is around 31 per cent and is a major determining factor in formation of the government and which has been proven a year back during the last Assembly election in which 25 years’ Communist rule came to an end in the State and the BJP which earlier had just 1.5 per cent of vote share came to power with a newly formed tribal party IPFT.
Now again after a gap of around two decades in Tripura, the Congress in order to get hold of its lost vote bank has shown faith on the royal family of Tripura.
In this general election, the Congress party has just not given ticket to ‘Maharajkumari’ Pragya Deb Burman but also only a month ahead of that handed over the responsibility of the party in the State to the young Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma from the hands of senior Congress leader and former minister Birajit Sinha.
Now only time will speak whether the royal family of Tripura will be able to return the golden time for Congress in Tripura.