Tripura election result 2018: Bharatiya Janata Party may have won Tripura election with a thumping majority but it looks that its challenges in the state are not over yet. The first big dilemma for the saffron brigade may come over the selection of a chief minister acceptable to its allies. In first signs of fissure, the N C Debbarma-led IPTF, an ally of the BJP, has raised a demand for a tribal chief minister. The demand came even as the BJP was able to secure a full majority on its own and reports say Biplab Kumar Deb is the saffron party’s CM pick. The Indian Express reports that Debbarma made the demand for tribal leader to head the state at the press club. This was reportedly called without the knowledge of its ally BJP.
Meanwhile, Deb, an RSS man, was seen giving interviews to a number of television channels as news of him being the top choice for CM post gained momentum. Deb even took out a victory road show through his Assembly constituency of Agartala’s Banamalipur.
Strongly raising his demand, Debbarma said that thumping majority that the BJP and IPFT got was simply not possible without the tribal votes. “We won the elections because of our victory in the reserved ST constituencies… Keeping in mind the sentiments of the tribal voters, it is only fair that the leader of the Assembly be one of the winning candidates of an ST constituency. And of course whoever is the leader of the House will naturally be the Chief Minister,” Debbarma was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
However, the IPFT leader refrained from making any specific comments about Biplab Deb’s candidature for the post. The leader further clarified that he is not indicating which tribal leader should be nominated as CM and that the decision could only be taken after discussions.
On the other hand, Sunil Deodhar, BJP Tripura in-charge, said he was unaware of Debbarma’s statement, adding that a meeting will be held between the leaders of the two parties on Monday.
CPI-M and Congress leaders said BJP and IPTF are making contradictory statements and their alliance may be short-lived. Reacting on the issue, Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said IPFT maintained its stand of fighting the election for separate statehood throughout the elections. Meanwhile, the BJP said it did not support the statehood demand and wanted to see a united Tripura, he added. Dey further said that this will be an unstable alliance.
Tribal leader and CPM MP Jitendra Choudhury said ‘honeymoon’ between the BJP and IPFT will be short-lived. “It is what happens when you form an alliance with a separatist political group for short-term electoral gains,” he said.