With the ruling BJP and its coalition partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) in the state failing to forge an alliance for the coming parliamentary elections, the opposition Congress Sunday offered the tribal party an honourable solution if it wished. Tripura PCC president Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debburman told reporters that Congress would offer an "honourable solution" to IPFT wishes to talk to it regarding the parliamentary elections.
"If IPFT feels it has trouble with BJP, they are most welcome to talk to me. I will offer them an honourable solution," Debburman said. However, he did not elaborate on what could be the "honourable" solution.
IPFT had on Saturday announced that talks for seat adjustment with BJP for the two Lok Sabha seats in Tripura had failed and it has decided to field its candidates in them. IPFT supremo N C Debbarma, who is the revenue minister of the coalition government in the state, would contest from the East Tripura (ST) constituency and the party's youth leader Suklacharan Noatia would contest from West Tripura seat, the party had said.
The party has 8 MLAs in the 60 member Tripura Assembly, while its coalition partner BJP has 36 legislators. BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee ruled out any impact on the poll prospects of the party in the coming Lok Sabha election due to IPFTs decision to go it alone.
"We are not thinking about IPFT now. BJP will contest in both Lok Sabha seats of Tripura. We are confident of victory," he said. Debburman said Congress has kept its doors open for dialogue on the poll alliance with all regional parties of the state, including Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), National Conference of Tripura (NCT) and IPFTTipraha (a breakaway faction of IPFT).
"I am talking to everyone. My aim is not to bully regional parties. Regional parties have a role to play but it should not be in direct conflict with the Congress ideology," he said. "We have to defeat the BJP and we are doing everything to make sure that it is defeated in Tripura," he added.
Senior CPI(M) leader and Lok Sabha MP Jitendra Chaudhury said his party would not take support from IPFT, even if it comes out of the alliance with BJP and offers support. Meanwhile, CPI-M MP Sankar Prasad Datta Sunday alleged that since the announcement of Lok Sabha elections BJP backed "antisocials" are attacking the Left party leaders, activists and supporters.
He told a poll rally at Dukli near here that BJP "goons" had attacked CPI-M leaders, workers and supporters on March 14 including the party's Rajya Sabha MP Jharna Das Baidya and her husband when they were on their way to attend a meeting in West Tripura district. Reacting to the allegation, BJP spokesperson Ashok Sinha said, It is the nature of CPI(M) to label false charges against BJP workers".
(With inputs from agencies.)