Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma. (File image)

In a setback to Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya’s unification bid for tribal parties, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally in the BJP-led State government, is all set to continue the alliance with the saffron party in the “greater interest” of the State and its people.

Recently, Manikya had persuaded the IPFT leaders to join hands with the Tipra Motha for contesting the ensuing elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) together.

However, the ruling BJP managed to turn the tables on the Tipra Motha in a matter of a few days by reaching out to the IPFT for an alliance.

In the latest development today, deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, who also shares close ties with the State’s royal family, held a meeting with IPFT leaders Mevar Kumar Jamatia and Mangal Debbarma and discussed the electoral understanding for the tribal council elections, scheduled to be held on April 4.

Leaders of both parties have agreed to contest the elections together. The IPFT leaders have been insisting on allocation of 12 out of 28 seats of the council.

“In principle, the Deputy Chief Minister, who is entrusted with conducting parleys with the IPFT, has agreed on the 16:12 formula. A formal announcement on the alliance is likely to be made on March 9 after the BJP rally,” said a senior BJP functionary here today.

“And don’t be surprised if IPFT supremo NC Debbarma and Mevar Kumar Jamatia join the BJP’s mega rally on March 9. It will be a befitting reply to the self-proclaimed maharaja who is dreaming of Greater Tipraland for the indigenous people,” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP sources said that the IPFT leadership has been asked to make its stand clear on the tribal council elections soon as they had earlier struck a deal with the Tipra Motha.

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