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IPFT set to contest Tripura Assembly polls alone
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Dec 25 - Indigenous People’s Party of Tripura (IPFT-NC) would contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Tripura alone if its demand for Tipraland is not accepted by those who want to forge electoral understanding, said party president NC Debbarma.

IPFT has already prepared a list of 56 candidates for the Assembly elections scheduled for early next year and the list will be declared once the election schedule is announced, he said at a press conference here on Monday.

Debbarma made it clear that the party would contest the elections on one-point demand – Tipraland, a separate State by converting the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). “So far, no political party has agreed on Tipraland demand prompting us to go for all out preparation for the Assembly polls alone. Alliance talks can take place with any national party but Tipraland demand will remain a core issue for the party”, he pointed out.

Making it clear that IPFT would contest in all the 20 ST reserved seats in the 60-member Assembly, the bureaucrat-turned- politician said the party would also contest in twenty unreserved seats and ten SC reserved constituencies in the coming elections.

Debbarma claimed a total of 62,597 voters belonging to 12,897 families have already joined IPFT while more people are expected to join the party fold well before the elections.

Interestingly, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and National Council of Tripura (NCT) are hopeful of striking a deal with BJP to avoid split in the anti-Left vote bank in the ensuing Assembly elections.

“We had talks with BJP leaders in presence of its national general secretary Ram Madhav. There has been a progress in the process. We hope there will be an electoral understanding with BJP before the polls”, said INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma.

Meanwhile, the saffron party which is posing a real threat to the CPI (M)-led Left Front, is buying time to finalise a deal with the three tribal-based parties – IPFT (NC), INPT and NCT. “Only recently, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has taken the charge of party’s election campaign. He will take some time to settle all the pending issues including the alliance matter”, said a senior BJP leader.

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