Imphal: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has assured that the State Government will complete the Manipur Cultural Centre in Tripura for which former Chief Minister RK Jaichandra Singh laid the foundation stone in 1988 and that the present government is also planning to construct a Manipur Bhawan in Tripura.
The Chief Minister made the assurance while interacting with Manipuris residing in Tripura after he offered prayers at Lainingthou Puthiba Temple in Tripura on Monday.
BJP leader Dr. Sambit Patra and CAF&PD Minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei were also present at the occasion.
Earlier, Chief Minister Biren and Assam Chief Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma accompanied their counterpart Manik Saha for filing of the nomination papers for the upcoming Tripura Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister and convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a forum of BJP and its allies in the Northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday exuded confidence that BJP would form the government in Tripura with more seats compared to 2018.
“BJP decided to contest the elections alone for the unity of Tripura. But yes, IPFT is our ally and will remain so but BJP will form the government on its own this time,” Sarma told reporters at Agartala while accompanying Tripura CM Manik Saha, during filing of the latter’s nomination papers for the Assembly elections.
“During the 2018 elections, there was an atmosphere of fear. Today there is an atmosphere of peace. People of Tripura want this peaceful atmosphere to remain for development,” Sarma said when asked about the difference between elections in 2018 and now.
Polling for the 60-member Tripura Assembly will be conducted on February 16.
In 2018, BJP and its ally IPFT had wrested power from CPI(M) and formed their first government in Tripura. This time, BJP will contest in 55 seats while IPFT candidates will fight in the remaining five. The IPFT had won eight out of nine seats it contested in the 2018 elections.
The IPFT, this time, however, is likely to face a strong battle against Tipra Motha, which is in power in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) and has made “Greater Tipraland” its main poll plank.
A separate Tipraland for the indigenous Tripuris was the main poll plank of IPFT earlier but the party is losing its support base among the tribals mainly due to its alliance with BJP. The BJP is against the demand for Tipraland state.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Himanta Biswa
Sarma held talks with Tipra Motha Chief Pradyot Deb Barma for an alliance recently but Motha refused the offer without a written assurance about fulfilling its demand for “Greater Tipraland.”
Tipra Motha has already named 30 candidates with a target to defeat “those against Greater Tipraland.”
“People will vote more for the BJP by looking at Chief Minister Manik Saha and the policies and development works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Sarma further said.
Sarma and Saha offered puja at the ancient Tripureshwari temple before going for filing the nomination papers.
The Opposition CPI(M) and Congress are also gearing up for the elections with seat sharing arrangement, which is a first in Tripura’s political history. (With inputs from Deccan Herald)