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Nadda meeting to determine the future course of hill politics

The crossed eye / Sanjib Deb

August 27, 2022, 1:44:29 PM

The proposed meeting of BJP National Chairman JP Nadda in Khumwlung, the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, on August 29 will determine the fate of the Tripura Hills politics dominated by TIPRA Motha for the past year .

The massive preparation the BJP is taking to make the meeting a success makes it clear that they are in no mood to leave the hills to the royalist party they captured in the TTAADC election due to the mistake strategy of the national party.

In the ADC election on April 6, 2021, the TIPRA Motha won 17 seats and the BJP won 11 seats while their alliance partner IPFT could not win any. The other major players, the CPI(M) and Congress, have been totally eliminated. The poll result indicates the strong presence of BJP in the hills, but after the elections, Motha used the sentiment for the Maharajas and through violent activities started dominating the hills.

The BJP took no challenge and expected one last adjustment with Pradyot Kishor but that failed and now the BJP is moving forward with determination to cut its piece of the pie in the hills. The massive preparation to succeed the Nadda encounter gives a clear indication of this. Party leaders expect a gathering of more than 25,000 people at the meeting.

It is learned that the national chairman of the party may make important announcements that the BJP will make its weapon for the upcoming village committee and state assembly elections. The proposal already in the pipeline to elevate the ADC to territorial council status and increase the number of seats to 50 with the provision for representation from all 19 tribes could be the party’s major draw card.

The party led by Pradyot Bikram seems to have understood the message and is becoming more and more restive, as evidenced by its violent actions in different places. Over the past few days, a series of incidents have taken place where Motha supporters are attacking BJP leaders to prevent them from entering the hills. In Mungyakami, BJP President Janajati Morcha Bikash Debbarma and several others were injured when Motha supporters attacked them. They resorted to a road blockade movement in Premsingh Orang ADC village in Kalyanpur bloc to prevent BJP MP Pinaki Das Choudhury from attending a party meeting in Gudaibari village. The latest incident was reported in Charilam where they were trying to prevent Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarma and Patal Kanya Jamatia from attending a meeting.

A common feature of all these incidents is that in all places people were supposed to leave TIPRA Motha and join the BJP. This baffled Motha supporters. The Motha’s growing wayward behavior was reflected in recent video footage of party leader Pradyot Bikram Kishor inciting his people to disrupt JP Nadda’s meeting.

The development makes it clear that the ADC zones are no longer a free domain for the Moth and that the BJP will claim its share. The ongoing fight is expected to escalate in the coming days and the meeting JP Nadda addresses will determine the fate of the state’s tribal policy going forward.

One thing should be noted that this is the first time for any of the national parties to introduce their national president to Khumulwing and hold a mass rally. One has to watch how the meeting unfolds closely, but before that, the very choice of the venue for the meeting gives enough indications that the BJP is gearing up for a big show.

The struggle for the 587 village committees, the counterpart of the village panchayat in the areas of the Autonomous District Council of the Tribal Areas of Tripura may be their first step, but the main objective is the election of the assembly of the state to be held early next year. The Nadda meeting will give an indication of what is to come in the tribal politics of the state. Is it a fight between the BJP and TIPRA Motha or an agreement? The aggressive posture of the BJP on one side and the sudden visit of Sarsanghachalak Mohon Bhagwat to Ujjayanta Palace to view the throne on the other keeps both possibilities open.

(Writer is the publisher of North East Colors)

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