BJP-IPFT relations turning sour

Agartala, May 17: The relation between two partners of the ruling alliance in Tripura— the BJP and IPFT—seems to be turning sour as the IPFT has demanded to cancel the list comprising the chairman of 27 Block Development Committees (BAC), which was recently declared by the State government, till the formulation of a well-defined policy.

Narendra Chandra Debbarma, president of the Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Twipra and revenue minister in the State Cabinet, in a press conference on Wednesday said without clear-cut criteria some of them had been nominated as chairman of the BAC who actually don’t deserve to occupy such a position. Forest minister-cum- general secretary of the IPFT Meber Kumar Jamatia and other senior leaders, including the vice president Ananta Debbarma, were also present during the press conference. Debbarma said the proposed formulation of a precise policy will call for amendments in the Panchayat Act, which is a time -taking process. So he demanded promulgation of an ordinance to avoid such problems.
Debbarma announced this decision after a day-long meeting of the IPFT’s central executive committee, which was held to discuss the political tensions that were prevailing in the State following the announcement of the list of chairman of BAC.

IPFT workers at the block level virtually revolted against the decision and have been carrying out demonstration for the last one week. They are resorting to road blockade as well as locking the block offices. And in some cases the demonstrators have more turned violent.

Chief Minister Biplab Deb on May 14, in a statement, warned the IPFT leaders and said the State government will have to take strong action if such demonstration continues.
The IPFT central executive meeting was called immediately after such statement was made by the Chief Minister.

The IPFT leaders, however, in the meeting tried to convince the members to accept the list for the time being, and assured of discussing the matter with the BJP leaders. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb said here on Thursday that the leaders of the two parties had earlier finalised the names of the 27 Block Advisory Committee (BAC) chairmen.
“We failed to understand why the IPFT cadres are agitating when the senior leaders of two parties finalised the names of chairmen of the 27 BACs. However, our senior leaders would discuss once again over the IPFT’s demand. The issue is likely to be resolved amicably,” Deb told the media. A five-member state-level coordination committee of the BJP and the IPFT was formed last week to ensure better coordination both in the government and at the political level.