Launching an attack on tribal political parties in Tripura, Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman claimed they occasionally raise emotional slogans and play with the sentiments of the indigenous people to fulfil their political aspirations.
Roy Barman, a member of the election campaign committee formed by the grand old party and the lone Congress MLA in the northeastern state, was addressing a party programme at Karamcherra in Dhalai district on Monday. “Be it the TUJS, TNV, INPT, NSPT or the IPFT- all are masters in playing with the sentiments of tribal people.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, one political party (IPFT) had raised the demand for Tipraland but it remained silent for the next five years “, Roy Barman said. In Tripura, Assembly elections are due in 2023. “Their real face came to the light when they came to power. Those who had blockaded National Highway before the 2018 assembly elections, did not utter a word on the Tipraland demand.
N C Debbarma and Mevar Kumar Jamatia had enjoyed power but did nothing for achieving Tipraland ”, he alleged. N C Debbarma was a senior minister and president of the BJP’s ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT). The veteran tribal leader passed away recently.
Mevar Kumar Jamatia was the third legislator of IPFT and the seventh MLA in the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance to have quit the assembly in Tripura in November 2022. It was the IPFT which had intensified agitation before the last Assembly elections by organising national highway blockade, and stitching alliance with the BJP, the Congress MLA said.
“Now, another party has raised a new slogan of Greater Tipraland… Once I asked the gentleman why are you playing with the emotions of the tribal people and their sentiment. He remained silent”, Roy Barman said in a reference to Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Deb Barma. The Tipra Motha was floated by the scion of the erstwhile royal family Pradyot Deb Barma in February 2021, two years after he quit the post of Congress president. Targeting the regional tribal parties, Roy Barman said ‘they’ could not even finalise the script for the Kokborok dialect, the mother tongue of most of the tribals in the northeastern state.
“While the CPI(M) favours Bengali script, Congress bats for Roman, and the BJP for Devnagri that resulted in confusion on selecting the script for Kokborok”, he claimed. The former health minister said the tribal people are still denied basic facilities like water, electricity, education and livelihood.
Asserting that the Congress could not play with the sentiments of the people, Roy Barman said the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) was created under the sixth schedule of the Constitution when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister of the country.