Explained | Demand for Greater Tipraland: How is a new state formed in India?

This is not the first time that a demand for a separate state has been raised in Tripura; the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura raised a call in 2000
Last Updated 07 February 2023, 10:50 IST

As Tripura heads into polls, all parties are on tenterhooks since the Tipra Motha has raised demands for a separate state - Greater Tipraland. The regional front, headed by Pradyot Manikya Deb Barma, has refused an alliance with all parties, saying they want their demand for a separate state to be acknowledged in writing beforehand.

This is not the first time that a demand for a separate state has been raised in the state, with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) raising the call in 2000. Two years later, they merged with the Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS), giving birth to the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT). However, the IPFT was revived in 2009 by NC Deb Barma. The IPFT-BJP alliance was successful and Deb Barma was a minister in the coalition government until his death in January 2022.

Now, the IPFT's influence is waning, while the Tipra Motha has seen a spectacular rise, bagging 18 of 28 seats in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) in 2021. There were talks of an IPFT-Tipra Motha alliance but Pradyot's party has now announced it will contest 42 out of 60 seats, solo.

Demand for Greater Tipraland

The demand for a Greater Tipraland to be carved out of the current third-smallest state in terms of area stems from a desire for an ethnic homeland for indigenous communities in the region, who have been reduced to minorities after the influx of Bengalis in the area during Partition. There was another influx during the 1971 liberation war in Bangladesh.

As per Pradyot, Greater Tipraland will help protect the culture and rights of tribals and he wants his demands to be fulfilled under Articles 2 and 3 of the Indian Constitution.

How can a new state be carved out?

As per Article 2 of the Constitution "Parliament may, from time to time, by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit".

Article 3 of the Constitution adds -

"Parliament may by law—

(a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;

(b) increase the area of any State;

(c) diminish the area of any State;

(d) alter the boundaries of any State;

(e) alter the name of any State"

It continues, "Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired."

The Constitution notes "Explanation I.—In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), “State” includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, “State” does not include a Union territory" and "Explanation II.—The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory."

(Published 06 February 2023, 11:30 IST)

Follow us on