Purna Jamatia new chief of Tripura tribal council, BJP stays away from oath-taking

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Agartala, April 19 (PTI): Nineteen newly-elected members   of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) took oath at its headquarters in Khumulwung on Monday, officials said.

The BJP stayed away from the programme in protest, alleging that supporters of TIPRA, which won the elections, have unleashed violence after the results were announced on April 10.

The oath was administered to 18 TIPRA members by the council’s chief executive officer (CEO) GK Rao. The lone Independent member also took oath at the event.

The newly-formed TIPRA, led by former state Congress president Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman, swept the TTAADC elections, winning 18 of the 28 seats that went to the polls on April 6.

The BJP won nine seats and one seat was bagged by the independent candidate.

In the 30-member tribal council, elections were held in 28 seats. Representatives in the remaining two seats will be nominated by the governor on the advice of the state government.

The BJP members would take oaths on a separate date, officials said.

The TTAADC area is two-third of the state territory, and is the home to the tribals, who constitute one-third of Tripura’s population.

Deb Barman, who earlier announced that he would take over as the chief executive Member, said that he would remain as the advisor of the tribal council.

Jagadish Debbarma, a prominent tribal leader and a former chairman of the tribal council, took the oath as the chairman. Former student leader Purna Chandra Jamatia took over as the chief executive member.

“Purna is a person who is very honest, educated, young and energetic. He can lead the council with his clean image. He has sacrificed a lot and worked very hard,” Deb Barman told reporters.

“There is an advisory panel and recommendation committee which will oversee the whole administration and work of the TTAADC. We will be advising the administration and take note of their works,” he said.

Deb Barman, the scion of Tripura’s former royal family, said the council will work in a transparent manner and in coordination with the state government.

“We do not want to get into any problems with the state government. We want to work with the state government and we want to usher in development for the people of the autonomous district council,” he said.

The CPI (M)-led Left Front, which governed the TTAADC for the last twenty years before the April 6 elections, could not win a single seat.

The elections were largely being seen as a bipolar contest between Deb Barman’s new party and the BJP-IPFT alliance, while the Left Front, which is yet to recover from its defeat in the state elections in 2018, being considered a fringe player.

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the ally of the ruling BJP in the state, which contested in 17 seats, also could not win in a single seat.

The Congress fielded candidates in all the seats but also drew a blank.

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