After the first round of talks between the BJP and its ally, IPFT in Tripura, the seat sharing crisis remains unresolved as both the partners are firm on their demand.
While the BJP without discussion with its partner had announced to contest from both West Tripura and East Tripura Parliamentary seats, IPFT has demanded for the ST reserved East seat or threatened to contest alone in both seats.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav was in Agartala on Wednesday to discuss between both the alliance parties on the seat-sharing formula.
Top leaders from both the parties including chief minister and BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb, deputy chief minister Jishnu Deb Barman, revenue minister and IPFT president N C Debbarma, forest minister and IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia were among others present in the vital meeting that took place in the state guest house but ended unsettled.
The IPFT leaders who came out of the meeting within sometime said that the seat sharing issue could not be solved and discussion shall continue.
IPFT president N C Debbarma said, “Discussion is in progress and not yet completed and there will be further dialogue at the earliest. Our demand categorically is that there should be seat sharing between BJP and IPFT. Exclusively, ST reserved East parliamentary constituency is to be given to IPFT. Only on that condition, we can go ahead on the alliance.”
When asked if BJP is not ready to share the East seat what will be the next step of the IPFT, Debbarma said, “In that case, we have to go alone in both the seats.”
Adding to Debbarma, IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia said, “We still say if we do not get the East seat we shall contest in both seats alone.”
On the seat-sharing, Ram Madhav said, “We have held the first round of discussions today and by the evening or by tomorrow morning our deputy chief minister will have another round and finalize the electoral understanding with the IPFT. They want to contest from the East seat and that we are having a discussion as BJP wants to contest both the seats. Now negotiations are going on and we shall see how it moves in the future and by tomorrow morning we shall declare everything.”
Meantime, sources in the BJP said it is projecting it vice-president Subal Bhowmik from the West seat in which one of the general secretaries Pratima Bhowmik is also there in the race for a ticket from the same seat.
However, in the East seat, the lone candidate being projected is deputy chief minister Jishnu Deb Barman, who is from the royal family and can be befitting reply if Congress gives ticket to Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman, also the new party president of the State.
Tripura has two Lok Sabha seats – Tripura West and Tripura East. West Tripura goes to polls on April 11 and East Tripura, reserved for tribals, on April 18.