In a massive development, Indigenous Peoples Front of Twipra (INPT) has merged with the Pradyot Deb Barman-led Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) on Friday to work for the betterment of the entire community. Barman said that TIPRA and INPT – Tripura’s oldest surviving political party will be a ‘single entity’ in the future to work for ‘Greater Tipraland’. The TIPRA-INPT alliance won 18 out of 28 contested seats in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council polls conducted recently.
TIPRA & INPT merge
Issuing a press release in Agartala, Barman said, “INPT and TIPRA have decided to start the process of merging as a single party We hope that this wil achieve our goal of thansa and strive for our eventual goal of Greater Tipraland. While many have doubted that this was a mere election alliance, both INPT and TIPRA believe in people over self-interest.”
TIPRA wins big
On April 10, TIPRA swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections, upending the ruling BJP, winning 18 of the 28 seats. The BJP, on the other hand, won only 9 seats.TIPRA – led by former state Congress president Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman – jumped into formal politics only in February 2021, after its formation in 2019. The TTAADC area is two-third of the state territory and is the home to the tribals, who constitute one-third of Tripura’s population. This was the first electoral defeat of the BJP in the state since 2018 when they came to power by defeating the CPI(M) government which ruled the state for 25 years.
After his win, Barman said, “I appeal to the people to refrain from attacking the party office and houses of the supporters of IPFT, BJP, CPI(M), and Congress. They too will join our party after the elections. Do not fight among yourself, this has continued for 70 years, and let the whole of India see how Tipraha maintains unity even after winning the election.”
Barman has vowed to pass a resolution in the TTADC demanding Greater Tipraland as the demand for the Tipraland state is the only alternative for the continued existence of indigenous tribes in their own land. The Tipraland state will include TTAADC areas and other areas inhabited by the indigenous people of the state. Barman had quit the Congress in 2019, months after being appointed the President of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee, accusing the High Command of pressuring him to accommodate ‘corrupt people’.