Tripura tribal Congress leaders threaten to go for elections alone

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Agartala, Jan 6: The tribal faction of the Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) has threatened to participate in the Assembly elections alone if they were not given satisfactory representation in the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile, the TPCC had initiated a dialogue with the tribal Opposition - the INPT - for forging electoral alliance ahead of the Assembly elections.

TPCC sources said here today that the party had begun discussions with the INPT following instructions from the Congress High Command and five senior TPCC leaders held meetings with the INPT leaders at the Tripura Bhawan in New Delhi yesterday.

INPT general secretary Rabindra Debbarma said the talks would continue to give a final shape to the proposed electoral alliance in Agartala, which triggered resentment among the TPCC tribal leaders, who opposed the ongoing talks between the Congress and INPT for forging alliance.

In a letter addressed to Union Minister and general secretary of the AICC Prithviraj Chauhan on January four, TPCC ST department chief Bhrigu Ram Reang said earlier, the tribal people had been given due representation by the TPCC. However, unfortunately, it was not the case this time, the letter added.

''We have doubts as to whether at all the tribal people were consulted or not. Moreover, none of the tribal leaders were called for the discussions in New Delhi along with the other party leaders,'' Mr Reang stated in the letter.

''In order to capitalise on the anti-Left Front wave in the state, it becomes necessary for the Congress to nominate candidates for the ST reserved seats after detailed discussions with the party's tribal leaders,'' Mr Reang said.

In another letter addressed to Mr Chauhan on January four, general secretary of the parity's tribal wing Dinesh Debbarma said the leaders of the ST department were struggling to bring the downtrodden indigenous people of the tribal belts into the mainstream of the Congress.

''During the past few decades, the tribal people had been loyal to the CPI(M) and its tribal wing GMP, but with its efforts, the ST department made it possible to include a large portion of the tribal population under the Congress fold,'' Mr Debbarma added.

UNI

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