NEW DELHI: Tipra (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) Motha Party (TMP) led by Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma could emerge as a dark horse in the upcoming Tripura elections. The party would contest on approximately 42 out of the 60 Assembly seats. Due to the public support it is getting, political pundits in the state believe the party could either be a king maker or the king itself.
The case in point is, TIPRA recently secured a majority by winning 16 seats in the 28-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council elections along with its ally the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT). The result, however, not only ended the Left Front’s 15-year rule of the council but also became the only regional party to come into power in the council without an alliance with a national party.
Subsequently, the state is going to have triangular contest with three significant fronts lead by BJP, CPI-Congress alliance and TMP. The political analysts claim that the saffron party, which helms the state government, could be in a tough spot this time. A TMP party insider said, “They have tried to rope in Pradyut Manikya; however, he has denied to be a part of BJP as well as distanced to ally with them.”
Political analysts claim that the party is trying to capitalise on the support of tribal population (around 32% in the state) where its pursuit is to get the tribals together and demand the formation of “greater Tipraland” which the people on the ground claim has received greater traction. A political analyst said, “His rallies are getting bigger and seem responding to his agenda.” The state has 20 seats reserved for tribals and political analysts in the state claim he could take away a huge chunk of it. Recently, Tipra Motha leader Pradyot Kishore Debbarma reaffirmed the claim that the demand for Greater Tipraland would not be compromised at any cost and also issued a stern call for victory in 2023. “His impact on the elections depends on how he performs on tribal seats,” a party leader said.
Within a few months after being appointed on 25 February 2019 as president of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee, Pradyot resigned from the post, accusing the Congress “high command” of pressuring him to accommodate “corrupt people”. Almost three months after resigning from the Pradesh Congress President post, Pradyot formed an organization to work for the rights of the indigenous people. Later, on 5 February 2021, TIPRA chairman Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman announced that their organization has become a political party (TMP).