AGARTALA, March 1 - The ruling BJP in Tripura is ready to forge an alliance with the Indigenous People�s Front of Tripura (IPFT) for elections to the 30-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), a BJP leader said.
However, the IPFT�s demand for contesting most of the seats has become a bone of contention between the two parties.
Prominent tribal leader and BJP MP Rebati Kumar Tripura said that it was decided at a recent meeting that the party would take up the issue about contesting the tribal elections jointly with the IPFT.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and other important party functionaries were present at the meeting.
�They (IPFT) were our alliance partner in the State Assembly elections in 2018 and we will keep our doors open for them,� the BJP leader said.
The TTADC constitutes two-thirds of the State�s 10,491 sq km area, and home to over 12,16,000 people.
�We were informed that they want to contest in most of the seats, which is not acceptable to us. Seat adjustments would be finalised through discussions,� the MP told reporters.
The tribal council elections are scheduled to be held in June, sources in the State Election Commission said.
Referring to 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rebati Kumar Tripura said, �The IPFT had announced their candidates for the Parliamentary polls without consulting us.
�We had an organisational meeting about the ADC polls where it was resolved that we might consider the IPFT if they abide by norms of the alliance. But they are speaking about complete walkover for the ADC elections which is not possible for us to accept. If necessary, we shall fight alone in all the 28 seats,� he said.
In the 30-member council, elections are held in 28 seats and the remaining two seats are filled by members nominated by the Governor as per advice of the State administration.
At present, the tribal council is run by the Opposition Left Front which secured all the 28 seats in the 2015 elections.
IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia said his party is not ruling out the possibility of forging an alliance with the saffron party.
The IPFT would contest in maximum number of seats, whether or not it is in an alliance, he said.
�Talks for an alliance can go on (with BJP), but that will not deter us from contesting maximum number of seats in the ADC polls,� Jamatia said.
The IPFT had sought to form alliance with the BJP in several elections, including panchayat and Lok Sabha polls.
But the tribal party failed to forge any alliance with the BJP since the 2018 Assembly polls.
The IPFT was formed in the 1990s with the objective of forming Tipraland, a separate State for the tribal communities of Tripura. � PTI