IPFT exodus shot in Tripura Congress arm
Tripura’s ruling BJP and its ally, the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) suffered a major setback on Saturday after over 1,000 IPFT supporters joined the Congress, alleging that the indigenous party had subjugated itself to the BJP.
Royal scion and state PCC president Pradyot Kishore Manikya Deb Burman told The Telegraph on Saturday that nearly 300 IPFT supporters joined the Congress in the morning and 700 more later in the day at Kamalpur in Dhalai district, 93km from here.
“IPFT supporters are coming to us because they have realized that IPFT president N.C. Debbarma, who is not even campaigning, submitted nomination to cut down on votes of Congress and help BJP in their movement for citizenship (amendment) bill,” Pradyot said. Sohel Debbarma, a Youth IPFT leader who joined the Congress, said the IPFT gained power just before the 2018 Assembly polls in Tripura but it had handed over all its powers to the BJP now.
Asked about the Lok Sabha polls held in West Tripura parliamentary constituency on Thursday, Pradyot said, “There was a lot of violence. Tripura people can also give reply. I want to tell the gundas who terrorised people that after elections are over on April 18, your leaders and MLAs will forget you. Then you shall see what condition we make of you. I am apprehending similar attacks on April 18 when East Tripura (ST reserved) seat goes to polls but people are ready to give a befitting reply if attacked.”
Pradyot said a delegation of Congress leaders from Tripura reached New Delhi on Saturday to meet officials of the Election Commission and request repolling in all polling booths where the party alleged rigging on April 11 and the replacement of the returning officer and chief electoral officer.