A top official of the Left-ruled Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) has claimed that at the behest of the BJP-led central government the NITI Aayog has begun a “financial blockade” against the autonomous body by not releasing funds regularly. “At the behest of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)-led central government the NITI Aayog by not releasing funds on regular basis has begun a ‘financial blockade’ against the TTAADC,” Chief Executive Member of the body, Radha Charan Debbarma, said here on Saturday. “In the last financial year (2016-17), NITI Aayog released Rs 176 crore to TTAADC, but this year (2017-18) it has released only Rs 73 crore against the Rs 200 crore to be released for the council.” Debbarma, also a veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) tribal leader, said the BJP has been claiming that the TTAADC has not been working properly for the all-round development of the tribals. “TTAADC has been working despite financial crisis due to negative attitude of the Central government. However, the tribal council is doing its best with the help of the state government. Its performance is on the top among the 16 autonomous tribal councils in the northeastern states,” he stated.
The TTAADC, which was set up in 1985, has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 sq km area and is home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals of of Tripura’s around four million population.
A tribal based party — Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) — has been agitating since 2009 for a separate state to be carved out by upgrading the TTAADC. The IPFT had earlier this month blockaded the National Highway 8, the life line of Tripura, and a lone railway line for 11 days in support of its demand for a separate state, leading to shortage of essentials in the land-locked northeastern state.