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BJP’s Tribal Leader Joins New Party TIPRA Ahead of Village Council Polls

After joining TIPRA Motha, Hangsa Kumar Tripura said he will lend his full support to the new party’s demand for Greater Tipraland.

Image Courtesy: EastMojo

New Delhi: Ahead of the visit to Tripura by Bharatiya Janata Party’s National President Jagat Prakash Nadda’sthe party’s representative and leader of the opposition in the Tribal District CouncilHangsa Kumar Tripura defected to the TIPRA Motha, a regional party. 

In a programme organised at Manikpur under the Dhalai districtHangsa along with around 6,500 BJP workers joined TIPRA, the EastMojo reported.

Hangsa Tripura was among ten BJP members of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) who were elected despite a massive wave of TIPRA in the 2021 elections. The BJP appointed him as the opposition leader in the 28-member TTAADC council. TIPRA bagged a total of 18 seats and secured a majority, the report said.

After joining TIPRA, Hangsa Tripura said it was the only party working for the welfare of tribals, the Economic Times reportedHe attacked the BJP by alleging that the saffron party’s popular slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is far from reality and ‘development’ is only confined to BJP legislators and ministers, the EastMojo reported.

He was quoted by EastMojo as saying, “Today I have joined the cause of Thansa (Unity), which signifies the real development of tribal and non-tribal people coexisting peacefully here in the state. I had served in the BJP for a long time. I have observed BJP’s politics very closely, I know what is going on inside the party.” He further said that the BJP came to power in the state in 2018 with a popular mandate as people trusted it, but with time, the party failed miserably to live up to the people’s expectations. 

Commenting on the issue of Greater Tipraland, he said, “When I was in BJP, I had to respect the party’s line, but today I have no hesitation accepting in public that I give my full support to Greater Tipraland demand”.

The Indigenous People's Regional Alliance (TIPRA) was established to fulfil the long-standing statehood demand of Greater Tipraland through “peaceful democratic means”. Its founding chairman is Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, who the current head of the Tripura Royal Family.

Welcoming Hangsa Tripura to the party, Debbarma said that TIPRA will not compromise with its demand of Greater Tipraland, the EastMojo report said.

“For alliance, we want written assurance of Greater Tipraland otherwise we have enough strength to field candidates in 35 assembly seats and fight the forthcoming polls on our own”, Debbarma was quoted as saying.

The latest defections will have a significant impact on the upcoming Village Committee elections, which are expected to be held in November this year. BJP chief Nadda is coming to the state to kickstart the election campaign.

Even though the saffron party has stated there would be no mass defection of tribal members, the NDTV reported citing sources within the party that Hangsa’s desertion has caused huge concern ahead of next year's crucial state election.

The TIPRA Motha swept the Autonomous District Council elections last year just two months after it was formed.

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