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Blow to opposition in Tripura as TIPRA MOTHA party joins BJP Govt ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Agartala, March 7: The biggest opposition party in Tripura, TIPRA MOTHA party of the indigenous tribals, which had been giving the ruling BJP sleepless nights with frequent agitations for well over a year, has changed its tune embracing the saffron party and joining its government.

Leader of the opposition in Tripura assembly and TIPRA MOTHA leader Animesh Debbarma was on Thursday sworn in as a cabinet minister, while another MLA of his party Biswaketu Debbarma was made a minister of state.

The decision to join hands with the BJP- the very party it was competing for space in Tripura, has come about after last week’s signing of a Tripartite agreement between the state, centre and TIPRA MOTHA which has been termed by the three parties as “historic”.

TIPRA MOTHA Party was launched by Pradyot Manikya Debburman, the former royal scion of Tripura to fight for the rights of the indigenous tribals of the state.

It made its maiden fray into electoral battle during February 16 assembly polls last year, fielding as many as 42 candidates, including 20 from the tribal reserved seats. The results were a mixed bag for the party, although it surprised many political pundits with its phenomental win of a whooping 13 seats securing 19.69 per cent of the votes.

The ruling BJP’s return to government with a clear majority in the polls ended the TIPRA MOTHA’s dream of forming the next government, until fortunes turned last week.

In an attempt to clear any doubts among its mass support base with the tribals, now that it has joined hands with the BJP, Party founder Pradyot Manikya Debburman has said that his party would continue to be the watch dog for the rights of the indigenous tribals even inside the government.

But TIPRA MOTHA’s exit from the opposition appears to be a harbinger of doom for the opposition parties.

It puts paid to any idea of a possible united front by the opposition parties ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections.

With the main opposition party and the single largest party (BJP) now in an alliance, the Congress and the CPI-M, relegated to 3rd and 4th place, have been left to pick up the pieces and restrategize for the upcoming elections. But it appears time is not on their side.

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