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As BJP celebrates Tripura victory, cracks appear in alliance with IPFT

Monday March 5, 2018 11:21 PM, & Agencies

Biplab Deb
[Tripura State BJP President Biplab Deb and party General Secretary Ram Madhav in a photo posted by Deb on his Twitter account.]

Agartala: Even as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is celebrating its victory in Tripura and various names from the party are circulating in the media for the post of chief minister, its alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) first demanded the state's top post, later 'respectable' ministries.

"We will support the new government from outside if the IPFT is not given ‘respectable’ positions in the ministry", the party president, N.C. Debbarma, said on Monday.

Clarifying the meaning of ‘respectable’ positions, IPFT president N.C. Debbarma said it meant proportionate representation of IPFT MLAs in the Cabinet and allocation of major departments to them. He said that the IPFT would also seek a separate block for its MLAs in the Assembly unless it was given ‘respectable’ positions in the state Cabinet, according to PTI.

The BJP and IPFT combine had swept to power in the state winning 43 out of the 59 seats, ending 25 years of CPI (M) rule in Tripura. Soon after the results, some BJP leaders had acknowledged that the party's alliance with IPFT was instrumental in the victory.

Debbarma latest statement came hours after it was reported that the IPFT had called a meeting of the newly elected MLAs and other office bearer at party headquarters in the state capital on Sunday. After the meeting, which was held without the knowledge of the BJP, the party demanded post of chief minister.

“The outcome of the elections, the thumping majority that the BJP and IPFT got, would have simply not been possible without the tribal vote. We won the elections because of our victory in the reserved ST constituencies", Debbarma is quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

"Keeping in mind the sentiments of the tribal voters, it is only fair that the leader of the Assembly be one of the winning candidates of an ST constituency. And of course whoever is the leader of the House will naturally be the Chief Minister", he added.

Amid the IPFT demand of first the post of chief minister and later key ministries in the new government it is widely speculated that Tripura BJP President Biplab Deb is most likely to be chosen by the party top brass as the chief minister of the state. Speculations are also rife that since the BJP has won 35 seats, enough to form government on its own, would like to reserve key ministries for its MLAs.

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