Guwahati, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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Cracks widen among Tripura tribal parties
 AGARTALA, March 18 - Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) on Monday declared that it would contest the Parliamentary elections separately ending an effort to bring all the regional tribal parties into a platform for common cause of welfare of indigenous people.

INPT vice president Amiya Kumar Debbarma announced that party president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl will contest from East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency while party general secretary Jagadish Debbarma will try his luck from West Tripura Parliamentary seat.

“After reviewing the prevailing political scenario in the State, party’s State Election Committee gave its nod to contest the election independently and finalised candidates for both seats”, said party president Hrangkhawl at a press conference here.

This has virtually shut the door for unification attempt by PCC president Pradyot Kishore Debbarman to ensure one-to-one fight against the BJP in the Parliamentary elections.

He said a party delegation met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on March 11 and discussed various issues related to the State’s politics. “Rahul Gandhi was impressed the way we are fighting for indigenous people’s rights and movement against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill”, he said.

Hrangkhawl said the party leadership was told by the PCC to contest the Lok Sabha election as independent candidate from East Tripura seat, which was totally unacceptable for the party. “How can we tell a party nominee to contest the election as independent? We rejected the request of PCC and decided to contest the election separately”, he said. However, Hrangkhawl said, “In politics anything can happen in anytime.”

Later in the evening, Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MACAB), a conglomeration of tribal based parties said it would support the Congress in the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

“If Congress fields candidates, then MACAB will support it as promised to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Side by side, if MACAB, an apolitical body is allowed to contest the Parliamentary election, then the candidates will be having no party or symbol”, said Animesh Debbarma, National Council of Tripura (NCT) supremo, who is part of MACAB.

Debbarma further said MACAB wants direct fight against the BJP to ensure that CAB is not passed in Rajya Sabha. The PCC president is heading MACAB as chairman while Hrangkhawl is vice chairman of the body.

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