Takarjala (Tripura), Feb 6 : Political parties are gearing up for the forthcoming elections in the tribal area of Takarjala in Tripura on February 23.
The ruling Left Front has been at the helm in the State with a population of 3.3 million people since 1978, barring a five-year term between 1988 and 1993.
Takarjala was once infamous for the rampant militancy where people did not dare venture out of their homes even during the day.
However, gradually the scenario is changing with developmental activities reaching to remote areas.
"Earlier we lived in fear of militants but now we are at peace. Development is progressing well," said Biswaroy Debbarma, a resident.
People of the area rely mainly on agriculture, as majority of the population is involved in agricultural activities. Earlier, improper irrigation affected production as, people had to depend solely on rainfall.
But with the construction of small water tanks for irrigation, matters have changed; now farmers can cultivate at least two crops.
"Development of Tripura as well as of our region is very good. We don't face any problem now but earlier we used to face a lot of water problem," said Susmita Debbarma, a student.
But, some of the residents feel that the Government is unable to deal with unemployment problem, therefore a change of guard is required in the State.
"Development has not been sufficient in our village. Several people are unemployed. Therefore we want a change of Government this time," said Biswami Debbarma, a surrendered militant.
Nominations started with the Governor's notification on January 30 and it will close on February 6. Voting will take place on February 23 and counting of votes will be on March 7.
The five-year term of the 60-member State Assembly ends in March.
About 50 tribal and other rebel groups are fighting against Central rule, demanding either independence or greater political autonomy in the State.
The rebels accuse Centre for exploiting the region's rich mineral resources and neglecting the local economy.