Assembly elections: Why winning Tripura is more important than UP for BJP
Agartala, March 3: It's simple; winning the Tripura Assembly election holds "symbolic" value for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If the BJP wins the Tripura polls as indicated by the early election trends on Saturday morning, it will give the saffron party a massive morale boost. While filing this report, the BJP and its alliance partner, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), were leading in 39 out of 59 seats, the voting of which took place on February 18. The polling for one constituency is scheduled on March 12. Tripura has a 60-member Assembly.
By winning Tripura, not only the BJP will add one more state to its tally in the country, but more importantly it will ouster the 25-year-old Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M)-led Left Front regime from the state, known as the red bastion.
If the left loses Tripura, it will be a literal death blow for the communist parties as they will be left with only Kerala in the country. In Tripura, it was a direct contest between the left and the right during the recently concluded elections.
Till the last Assembly elections held in 2013, the BJP was nowhere in Tripura. The BJP did not even win a single seat in the 2013 elections. Today, the saffron party is all set to create history by dethroning the CPI-M-led Left Front government. Such a kind of an unprecedented success for any political party in any corner of the country is rare.
The rise and rise of BJP in the Northeast region
The BJP won its first ever Assembly elections in the Northeast region in Assam in 2016. In 2017, the BJP repeated its Assam success by winning the Manipur Assembly polls. Now, in 2018, the BJP is set to win power in Tripura, one of the last citadels of the left.
If the BJP wins Tripura, it will have four states of the Northeast in its pocket. The party is in power in Arunachal Pradesh too. The election result trends also indicate that the BJP and its alliance partner, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), might form the next government in Nagaland too. In Meghalaya too, if the BJP could cobble up an alliance with regional parties then it might come to power in the hill state too.
The Tripura, UP connection
In 2017, the BJP registered a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh. The party and its alliance partners won 325 seats in the 403-member UP Assembly. The poll victory in UP was very significant as it is country's most populous state. The win in UP and Uttarakhand strongly cemented the BJP's power across the country.
However, a victory in Tripura will be much sweeter for the BJP. Reports say the BJP is going to celebrate its win in Tripura more than it did after forming governments in UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat last year.
Now, time to win Bengal, Kerala for BJP?
The win in Tripura will augur well for the saffron party. Now, the BJP is confident of winning polls in West Bengal and Kerala, both share great similarities with Tripura. While Bengal and Tripura share border and language (Bengali), Kerala and Tripura have always shown great fondness for the Left Front.
"We will wait for the final results, but we believe we will form the government in Tripura with 40-plus seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had a lot to do with the verdict. He addressed four rallies and regularly monitored election preparation. Our party president (Amit Shah) was also very focused on this election and spent a lot of time here," said Ram Madhav, the national general secretary of the BJP.
Holi for the BJP in Tripura
A bevy of national leaders from the BJP including PM Modi, BJP chief Shah and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, among others campaigned for the party in Tripura. The BJP workers and supporters have already started celebrating in Tripura. For them election results are an extension of Holi celebrations.