'Congress set to return on anti-incumbency factor in Tripura'

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Agartala, Feb 13 (UNI) Blaming the ruling Left Front for the 'downslide' in Tripura, the Congress today claimed that it was set to capture power in the February 23 assembly polls riding the anti-incumbency factor.

''Anti-incumbency is rising everyday and with a detoxicated electoral roll we are set to storm to power in the elections,'' Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly Ratan Lal Nath said.

Talking to the media in a 'meet the press' programme at the Agartala Press Club, Mr Nath alleged that Tripura was sliding downward in every sector despite huge allocation of central funds.

''The Centre has initiated several positive steps for developing the state, but unfortunately the Tripura government has failed to implement these and blamed the Congress to divert peoples' attention,'' Mr Nath stated.

Tripura stood last in the sectoral development due to the misrule of the Left Front government, Mr Nath alleged.

''Tripura was fourth in agriculture during the early nineties, but it slumped to the 7th position,'' he rued.

Criticising Chief Minister Manik Sarkar for 'failing' to contain corruption, he alleged that the Front's misrule and corrupt practice were responsible for the under-development and unrest in the state.

He accused the CPI(M) led government of not implementing the Lokayukta Bill to safeguard corrupt politicians and said the LF was trying to win the election "playing" with the feel good campaign.

''Whatever development was noticed in Tripura had been the contribution of the central government and in their 15 years' rule poverty had grown. In 1993, the number of people living below poverty line in Tripura was 13.7 lakh which increased to 22.8 lakh in 2007,'' Mr Nath said.

Flaying the Left's campaign regarding the ban on employment imposed by the Centre, he said the Prime Minister's letter on February 7,2007 had made it clear that there was no such ban in Tripura and Kashmir. He accused the Left leaders of sending out a wrong message to the people.

Mr Nath also pointed out that according to the report of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), 2007, Tripura's position in law and order was sixth, while in the matter of crime against women, the state topped the list in 2006.

''And most unfortunately the guilty are not punished because the conviction rate here is only 17 per cent against the national average of 42 per cent,'' he pointed out.

To a question he said the Congress would emphasise on employment generation and contain corruption, if it comes to power.

He said e-governance will be the thrust area and expansion of information technology as well as creation of employment opportunity were Congress's priority sector and the party manifesto promised to initiate measure to make Agartala a gateway of South east Asia.

He informed that the party was preparing its manifesto where people of Tripura will find some conclusive and specific assurance for development of the state.

UNI TEAM PL DB1516

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