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IPFT seeks separate block in Tripura Assembly

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 23, 2019  | 20:52 IST

Agartala, Jul 23 (PTI) The Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura, an ally of the ruling BJP, has said they have asked the state Assembly speaker to make a separate block for the eight lawmakers of the party. The IPFT's decision to sit separately would not have any impact on the fate of the government, the BJP said. IPFT General Secretary and state Forest Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatiya said, "We have asked the speaker for a separate block for our members in the assembly though we are a part of the treasury bench. We want to sit in a separate group and avail all the facilities in the assembly." "There is such a provision in the law, we want to avail it," he told PTI. When contacted, Speaker Rebati Mohan Das said he had received the letter on Monday and informed Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb about it. "I have informed the matter to the leader of the house (Deb) and also Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ratan Lal Nath. I will discuss the matter with others and take a decision," he told PTI. The next session of the assembly would be held in the third week of August. In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP has 36 seats, IPFT has eight and the rest 16 seats are with the opposition CPI-M. "The IPFT is a separate and sovereign party and its decision would not have any impact on the fate of the government," BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya told reporters. He said the BJP and the IPFT, which had formed the government in the state last year, had fought the 2019 Lok Sabha election separately and would do so in the panchayat election on July 27. When asked, Jamatiya said the relations between the BJP and the IPFT are not pulling well at the grassroots level and there are a lot of problems between the activists of the two partners. "The tribal MLAs from the BJP want to oust us," he said, adding that there is a coordination committee with leaders from both the parties to mitigate the problems at the grassrootd level, but it is not functioning well. The IPFT came into being in 2009 and is spearheading the movement for a separate Twipra land by carving out the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, which constitute two-third of the state territory. The BJP on the other hand has always opposed the demand. PTI JOY KK KJ

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