The Congress in Tripura received a shot in the arm on Monday ahead of the two-phase Lok Sabha polls in the state as the ruling alliance Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) vice-president Ananta Debbarma joined it along with a number of IPFT workers. Debbarma joined the Congress just days after IPFT vice-chairperson Kritimohan Tripura, Youth IPFT leader and its Belonia divisional head Mrinal Tripura did so along with 400 IPFT supporters on April 2.

Earlier on March 19, BJP state vice-president Subal Bhowmik had joined the Congress.

Debbarma, one of the founder leaders of IPFT, said that he had joined Congress as the tribal party leaders are living a lavish life and had failed to implement the demands of the indigenous people of the state who had voted for them.

Debbarma said that he had sent his resignation to IPFT president and revenue minister NC Debbarma on Saturday and many IPFT workers have joined the Congress along with him as the national party had assured him to fulfil their demands.

Debbarma said IPFT leaders are leading luxurious lives and had distanced themselves from the common people, who had voted for it to win eight assembly seats.

Many of our demands including properly empowering the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, more development in tribal-dominated areas, giving pattas (land right) to the tribals under Forest Rights Act have not been fulfilled and our leaders are not paying attention to those issues, Debbarma said.

Tripura PCC president Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman, who was present at the occasion, said the support is conditional to certain demands like direct funding to Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), introduction of Kokborok language in Roman script and scrapping the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Parliament and Congress agreed to them.

Polls to the two Lok Sahna seats in Tripura will be held on April 11 and April 18.