Tripura’s ruling allies confident of ending bickering

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Agartala, May 17 (IANS) Tripura’s ruling alliance BJP and IPFT continued their bickering over the selection of village and block advisory committees even though the leaders of both the parties are hopeful of resolving the dispute soon.

After Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s stern warning to the IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura), to stop “unruly violent protests”, the tribal based party demanded enactment of a law to appoint chairmen in village and block advisory committees and that those already appointed be reconsidered forthwith.

The central executive committee of the IPFT held an urgent meeting on Wednesday and made these demands after violent agitations by its cadres in many areas of Tripura in the past several days.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb said here on Thursday that the leaders of the two parties had earlier finalised the names of the 27 Block Advisory Committee (BAC) chairmen.

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“We failed to understand why the IPFT cadres are agitating when the senior leaders of two parties finalised the names of chairmen of the 27 BACs. However, our senior leaders would discuss once again over the IPFT’s demand. The issue is likely to be resolved amicably,” Deb told the media.

A five-member state-level coordination committee of the BJP and the IPFT was formed last week to ensure better coordination both in the government and at the political level.

Deb and coordination committee members Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarma and BJP General Secretary Pratima Bhowmik are out of station.

The IPFT’s road blockades, shut down in a large number of places and attack on a police station in Khowai district began on May 12 after the government appointed chairmen of 27 Block Advisory Committees (BAC).

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The IPFT cadres continued their demonstrations on Thursday in front of the Killa block office in southern Tripura’s Gomati district demanding changing of the newly appointed Chairman of the Killa BAC.

Official work and normal life in the tribal dominated areas were completely disrupted following the agitation.

“We have decided to urge the state government to enact a law or promulgate an ordinance to systematically appoint the chairmen of the BACs and Village Advisory Committees (VAC),” IPFT President and Revenue Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma told the media.

The IPFT also demanded a review or discontinuance of the appointment of chairmen of the 27 BACs.

“We are hopeful that the issue would be resolved soon after the discussion between the two parties keeping the alliance intact,” Debbarma said.

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He said that the previous Left Front government did not enact any specific law to appoint chairmen of BACs and VACs causing the political problems.

The IPFT, which has been agitating since 2009 to upgrade the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council areas as a full fledged state for the tribals, formed the alliance with the BJP before the February 18 assembly polls.

The BJP, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Congress and other parties have rejected the IPFT’s separate state demand.

Political circles are amazed over the bickering between the allies of the BJP led 70-day old alliance that came to power on March 9 after securing 44 seats in the 60 member assembly, putting an end to the 25-year rule of the Left Front.

The IPFT has two ministers in the nine-member council of ministers.

–IANS

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