IPFT, an anti-Left tribal party which is campaigning for a separate state for the indigenous communities of Tripura, is in talks with BJP for forging poll alliance before next year's assembly election, the party's top leaders said on Thursday.
Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura(IPFT) president N C Debbarma, who led the party delegates at the first round meeting held in Guwahati on Tuesday, also put forward the demand for forming a separate state in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomus District Council (TTAADC), they said. The TTADC constitutes two third of the state's territory and is home to tribals who form one third of the population. "In the talk BJP agreed to recommend to the central government for a study. We have unanimously agreed that CPI-M, which is ruling Tripura for last 25 years, is our common enemy and it should be thrown out from power," Debbarma told PTI.
"The next round of talks will be held in the first week of January in Delhi and our demands will also be put forward to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh," he said. IPFT, he said, is demanding formation of high level committees to study its demands, including the separate state but the response was earlier poor. IPFT general secretary Mewar Kumar Jamatiya told reporters here during the day that Chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sharma led the talks on behalf BJP. The party's Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar and other leaders were also present, Jamatia said.
"We had a positive discussion. There will be a second round of talks later. No talks on arrangement for seat sharing were held with BJP at the meeting," Jamatiya said adding though the demand for a separate was placed by IPFT the matter was not discussed at the meeting. The IPFT has considerable support base in 20 tribal reserve constituencies out of the total 60 in Tripura apart from the ruling CPI-M. Asked for comments on BJP's opposition to the demand for a separate state by carving out the tribal council, Jamatiya said, "We have to work out some formula for forging the alliance".