TPCC agrees to allot eight seats to INPT

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Agartala, Jan 15 (UNI) The Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) has agreed to leave eight seats for its tribal ally - the INPT - but stated that the final decision would be taken by the AICC.

''The TPCC has already sent the list of the eight constituencies to New Delhi, because the INPT was not happy with the decision, as it had demanded 16 seats,'' party president Samir Ranjan Barman said here yesterday.

''Nevertheless, as the issue of allocation of seats got stuck in a standoff and the time was running out, the final decision was left to be taken by the AICC,'' Mr Barman added.

Meanwhile, both the Congress and INPT leaders declined to make any official statement on the issue as ''the matter would be finally settled and announced by the AICC.'' In 2003, the Congress had shared 18 seats with the INPT and out of them, the INPT won six seats.

Last year, an INPT MLA Animesh Debbarma constituted a new political party - the National Conference of Tripura (NCT) - and he was not being considered an INPT MLA anymore.

However, the Congress had already agreed to give the NCT at least two seats, including that of Animesh Debbarma.

The ST Department of the Congress had also been exerting pressure on the party, asking for a bigger share in the tribal reserved constituencies.

It stated that if the Congress, for the sake of alliance with the INPT, failed to give due importance to its own tribal leaders in the candidate list, then the ST Department would field their own nominees in all the 20 ST seats.

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