Congress, alliance partner to contest Tripura council polls alone
Agartala: The 28-year-old alliance between the main Opposition Congress and the tribal Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) ended on Saturday with both parties deciding to contest next month`s Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) election separately.
For the ruling Left Front, regaining the constitutional body appears to be a virtual cakewalk as the Congress, the INPT, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indigenous People`s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal based party, will fight the polls separately.
"At the instance of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, the Congress formed an alliance with the erstwhile Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (now INPT) in 1982. But the present party leadership severed the nearly three-decade-old coalition," INPT general secretary and former minister Rabindra Debbarma told reporters Saturday.
The election to the 30-seat (28 elective, two nominated) TTAADC, which facilitates the socio-economic development of the tribals, would be held May 3. The TTAADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state`s geographical area, was constituted in 1985 after amending the sixth schedule of the constitution.
INPT president and former guerrilla leader Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said: "We want to field candidates in the 15 of the 28-elective seats in alliance with the Congress to defeat the ruling Left Front. But the Congress offered us only 10 seats."
Blaming INPT leadership for their unilateral decision to contest the polls alone, the Congress also announced candidates for all the 28-elective seats.
"The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-Marxist) was responsible for the tribals` backwardness and they institutionalised corruption in the autonomous body. The Left parties will be voted out in the forthcoming elections," state Congress president Surajit Datta told reporters.
The CPI-Marxist led Left Front, which now controls the council, announced its candidates Wednesday.
The state governor will issue the statutory notification Monday for the TTAADC polls, inviting nominations from candidates.
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