Wednesday, June 7, 2023

‘Pradyot Kishore caught in trap’: Manik Sarkar

Two days after the Centre-appointed interlocutor tasked with looking into the demands of the Tipra Motha failed to visit Tripura for the second time, former chief minister and CPI(M) politburo member Manik Sarkar Sunday said Motha chief Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma has been “caught in a trap”. Political observers said Sarkar’s remark was in reference to Pradyot Kishore’s emphasis on the interlocutor’s role in achieving a Constitutional solution for problems faced by tribals in the state, reports The Indian Express.
On May 10, the state General Administration (Political) Department had issued a notification stating that Akshay Kumar Mishra, advisor to the Government of India on NE affairs, would be treated as state guest during his visit to Tripura starting May 12.
Speaking to reporters in Agartala, Sarkar said: “Pradyot Kishore should be asked and he can clarify the issue. He has been caught in a trap. Now he has to think about how he will get free from this trap. Why would I waste time talking about it? Let us see what he says.”
Earlier, CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Chaudhary had termed the appointment of the interlocutor as an “eyewash”. Pradyot Kishore had then hit back at the communist party by claiming that the CPI(M), which ruled Tripura for over three decades, should be blamed for the backwardness of the tribals. He also piled heat on the ruling party and said some BJP tribal leaders were trying to wean away the Motha support base.
“An interlocutor is appointed by the Union government. It seems odd that the chief minister or the state government does not know about it and a third person is announcing the name of the interlocutor. It was later published in the media that the government issued a notice saying who was appointed for the post, when he is coming, how he would be welcomed or seen off,” quipped Sarkar.
His remark was apparently in reference to Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha’s comment a few days before the state notification was issued that he had no ‘official knowledge’ of the appointment of an interlocutor.
The interlocutor failed to turn up in Tripura earlier this month as well, after which Pradyot Kishore clarified that AK Mishra had to rush to Manipur following the outbreak of violence there.
Further commenting on the repeated failure of the interlocutor to visit Tripura, Sarkar said: “Those who are involved in this are taking themselves down to a ridiculous position. It is bound to happen. One cannot go far with deceit. Those who do this and think they will win will be caught (in a trap) sometime. People would not let them go.”
Pradyot Kishore’s TIPRA Motha, which was floated to raise the demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’ in 2021 – won the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council polls the same year, barely two months after its formation.
It contested 42 seats in the Tripura assembly polls this year and won 13, becoming the prime Opposition party in the assembly.
The ruling BJP won 32 seats in the polls and currently has 31 MLAs after Union minister of state Pratima Bhoumik resigned from the Assembly to keep her central berth, leaving the party with just one seat more than the magic figure. Notably, Bhoumik has been ‘instrumental’ in initiating a series of talks between Pradyot Kishore and BJP central leaders.
However, Pradyot has maintained equidistance from both the BJP, and the Opposition CPI(M) and the Congress, and have stuck to his demand for a Constitutional solution for tribals.
Meanwhile, Sarkar also reacted to the Karnataka election results, calling the mandate for the Congress a “decisive” one. He added that the BJP’s defeat in the southern state was also a defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The former Tripura chief minister said the BJP could not win the polls despite trying to ‘polarise’ the voters, flexing money power and extensive campaigning by PM Modi.


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