Controversy has erupted in Tripura after Chief Minister Manik Saha asked BJP workers to address TIPRA Motha chief Pradyot Kishore Debbarman as “Pradyotji” instead of “Maharaj”.

Saha, reportedly, while addressing the state executive meeting held at Charilam recently had asked BJP workers not to refer to the TIPRA Motha chief as a “Maharaja”.

The Council of Tiprasa Hoda, the apex body of Tripura tribal societies demanded a public apology from Chief Minister Saha.

Hoda member Kripajoy Reang said, “Saha is holding a constitutional position and his duty is to respect the sentiments of people belonging to all sections of the society. He has no rights to dictate terms to our society on how we would respect our chieftain.”

He said that Maharajas governed the state for a long period of time. Rajamala (the chronicles of Tripura kingdom) is evidence of the contribution of Maharajas in the state. There is a merger agreement which stipulates that King will restrain its rights.

“If he had spoken these words intentionally, we have every reason to consider his statement against the interests of the whole Tiprasa community. And, if this is a mistake, he should seek a public apology at the earliest.”

The earlier Left Front government had often blamed the 800-year-old Manikya dynasty for keeping Tripura underdeveloped while the successors of the erstwhile royal family have accused the regime of chronic enmity.Tipra Motha Party chief Pradyot recently said that his party would launch agitation in support of their demand for appointment of an interlocutor and constitutional solutions to the problems of the tribals in Tripura.

Barman earlier had meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. In a video message, Deb Barman said that he is not a beggar, and he and his party’s fight is for a constitutional solution to the tribal issues and problems.

“I have sold my royal properties in Kolkata to organise agitations for the interest of the tribals. Personally I do not want to get any government post. My only aim is to secure the future of the backward tribals,” he said.

He revealed that his party leaders are keen to join the BJP for their personal interest, he said: “I told them, you may join the BJP, but never complain about your deprivations. Union Home Minister Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarma assured them on several occasions that an interlocutor would be appointed and greater autonomy would be provided to the tribals, but several months had passed and nothing was done”.

He said that Tripura government is depriving Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC)

Tripura government notification earlier stated the Centre’s advisor on northeast affairs Akshay Kumar Mishra was supposed to visit Tripura on May 12 to discuss the issues raised by the TMP, but he did not turn up.

In the last week of March, Deb Barman had announced an indefinite hunger strike unless the Centre met the party’s demands by March 27 and on March 29, the TMP leaders led by him held a meeting with Sarma in Guwahati.

Sarma, while talking to the media in Guwahati on Tuesday, refused to comment about Deb Barman’s announcement to launch a stir in support of their demands.

Tipra is demanding a separate state of Tipraland. Tipra, which for the first time contested 42 seats on its own, emerged as the second largest party securing 13 seats in the recently held assembly polls

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