Tripura tribal party holds 'fruitful' meeting with Assam CM

Agartala/Guwahati, Mar 30 (IANS): The leaders of the Tipra Motha Party (TMP), whose chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman had earlier announced an indefinite hunger strike unless the Centre meets the party's demands by March 27, has held a "fruitful" meeting with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati.

Returning to Agartala after the meeting on Thursday evening, senior TMP MLA and opposition leader in the Tripura Assembly, Animesh Debbarma, said that the meeting with Sarma after midnight on Wednesday was "very fruitful" and the Assam CM will explain every aspect of it at an appropriate time.

"Sarma explained to us about the Central government's roadmap for the all-round development of tribals in Tripura. We are very satisfied about the ambitious plan of the government of India for the welfare of the tribals and their future generations," Debbarma told the media.

Earlier, TMP Chairman Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman had told IANS that he and his party colleagues have raised every aspect of their demands and heard Sarma's explanation about the Centre's plans.

Deb Barman tweeted late on Thursday evening: "Thank you Himanta Biswa for your assurance and statement today. We are keen to resolve the indigenous people's issues and we are glad the process has been initiated in a time-bound manner.

"I also thank Home Minister Amit Shah, who has taken the time and effort to address the problems of our Tiprasa people. The Tiprasa people are united (Thansa) for a better future and I am willing to sacrifice everything for our people."

A six-member TMP delegation led by Deb Barman had gone to Guwahati on Wednesday and held a marathon meeting with Sarma at the latter's residence.

According to Deb Barman, the Central government was supposed to appoint an interlocutor by March 27 to study the "constitutional solutions" to TMP's demands for more autonomy and socio-economic development of the tribals.

The other members of the delegation were TMP President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, Animesh Debbarma, Brishaketu Debbarma, Biswajit Kalai, and former minister Mewar Kumar Jamatia.

Deb Barman had on Monday announced that he will go on an indefinite hunger strike unless the Centre appoints the interlocutor by March 27.

He had earlier said that Amit Shah had informed him on March 23 that the Centre will appoint an interlocutor by March 27 to study the "constitutional solutions" to TMP's demands for more autonomy and socio-economic development of the tribals, who constitute one-third of Tripura's four million population.

Scripting history in the February 16 Assembly polls, the TMP, the first tribal-based party in Tripura since 1952, emerged as the principal opposition in the northeastern state by winning 13 seats in the 60-member Tripura assembly.

The ruling BJP has been trying to lure the TMP to join the state government headed by Chief Minister Manik Saha and has kept three ministerial berths vacant for the tribal party.

However, Deb Barman has said that they will not join the BJP-led ministry unless their demands are met.

The TMP, after capturing the politically important Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in April 2021, has been demanding elevation of the areas of the autonomous body by granting a 'Greater Tipraland State' or a separate state status under Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution.

Sarma, who is one of BJP's main strategists in the northeastern region, had recently said in Agartala that talks between the BJP and the TMP may resume, but it should be under the constitutional framework, and not on the condition of dividing Tripura.

On March 8, the day the BJP-led coalition assumed office for the second consecutive term in Tripura, Amit Shah had held a two-hour meeting with the TMP leaders and discussed their demands.

Besides Shah, BJP President J.P. Nadda, Assam Chief Minister Sarma, his Tripura counterpart Manik Saha, and all the 13 TMP legislators as well as senior leaders of the party were present at the meeting.



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Title: Tripura tribal party holds 'fruitful' meeting with Assam CM

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