The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, an anti-Left tribal party, on Thursday said it would forge an alliance with the BJP for the Assembly election due in 2018, while the saffron party said talks are still on in this regard.
Tenure of the 60-member Tripura Assembly ends on 6 March, 2017. The CPM-led Left front has been in power in the state since 1993.
BJP Tripura unit chief Biplab Kumar Deb said the party's central leadership and the IPFT are discussing about forming an alliance and the talks are positive.
The IPFT had long been demanding formation of a separate state by carving out areas under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), comprising two-third of the state's territory and home to tribals, who form one third of the state's population.
"The party would keep the separate state demand in abeyance for now as the central government has agreed to examine our problems and take measures," the IPFT chief said.
During a meeting between IPFT leaders and Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 5 January, the Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to
form a modality committee to explore the socio–economic, socio–cultural and linguistic conditions of the tribals.
CPM politburo member Brinda Karat last week slammed the BJP for planning to form on alliance with the IPFT.
"They are forming an unholy alliance to divide Tripura for narrow electoral politics.... There is a concerted effort to disrupt peace and tranquillity in the state," she had said at a public rally at Sonamura in Sipahijala district.