Agartala, March 24 (IANS) The Congress and it’s old ally the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) have decided to fight the Lok Sabha elections together in Tripura, leaders of the two parties announced here on Sunday.
The INPT, the state’s oldest tribal party, had announced its candidates for the two Lok Sabha seats in the state a week ago after its “seat-sharing negotiations with the Congress failed”.
However, the two parties held a joint press conference on Sunday to announce their alliance before the Lok Sabha elections.
“We discussed the political scenario in Tripura and decided to prevent the division of votes. The INPT and the Congress would jointly contest elections to defeat both the ruling BJP and the opposition CPI-M led Left Front in the two Lok Sabha seats,” Tripura Congress President Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarman said.
He also said Congress President Rahul Gandhi has approved the alliance.
“Without any preconditions, we are supporting the Congress candidates in the elections. The Congress President and the state party leaders have agreed to provide more power and autonomy to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council,” said INPT President Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, earlier nominated for the Tripura East seat.
INPT General Secretary Jagadish Debbarma said the two parties would leave no stone unturned to defeat the BJP and the CPI-M.
“For the welfare of the people of Tripura, especially tribals, the Congress and the INPT would work together like before,” said Debbarma, earlier named by the INPT for the Tripura West seat.
The Congress and the INPT have been contesting polls in Tripura jointly since 1983. The two parties also ran a coalition government in the state for five years from 1988.
Polling for Tripura West will be held in the first phase on April 11 and Tripura East in the second phase on April 18. Votes will be counted on May 23.