With the Tripura bye-elections approaching on September 5, opposition party TIPRA Motha announced on Friday that they will remain neutral and not support either the ruling BJP or opposition CPM.
Bypolls will be held in Boxanagar and Dhanpur constituencies in Sepahijala district on September 5, with results on September 8. The BJP and Left Front have fielded candidates in both seats.
Earlier, TIPRA Motha declared they would not nominate any candidate for the bypolls. Opposition leader Animesh Debbarma told media persons in Agartala, “Bypoll is not our main target. Our target is to achieve Greater Tipraland. Allegations were raised against us that we are Lal Motha ( Red Motha) and broker of the BJP. We are not any of them. That’s why, we decided not to put up candidates in this bypoll.”
Debbarma added, “I joined the first meeting of the oppositions at Assembly after being invited by CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury. You have heard our version and version of Congress. The CPM fielded candidates without any consultation with the opposition. They are CPM’s contestants and not alliance candidates. We have decided not to impose any decision on our party supporters. They will give their vote to whoever they think will work for them.”
Earlier in August, Debbarma had called TIPRA Motha a “factorial vote” in Dhanpur, not the main competitor.
Reacting to this, CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury said while it may be a strategic statement, TIPRA Motha ground workers are canvassing with CPM activists. “Whatever they said, it may be their strategic statement. But in ground reality, their activists are visiting voters’ houses with our party activists. They (TIPRA Motha) told the voters to exercise their franchise freely. We also want people to vote freely. We just want no division of opposition votes like the last Assembly polls,” he said.
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