Agartala, Feb 15: For the resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the upcoming Assembly election in Tripura is the "battle royale" which the party is fighting to unseat the 25-year-old rule of the Left Front government in the state.
The elections for the 60-member Tripura Assembly are scheduled on February 18 (Sunday). The results of the polls will be out on March 3.
In order to defeat the incumbent Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))-led Left Front government in the state under chief minister Manik Sarkar, the BJP is using all its best machinery and manpower.
A galaxy of star campaigners of the BJP, including PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh and BJP MP Hema Malini, among others, had campaigned in Tripura in the last few days. Modi is once again going to campaign in the state on Thursday.
Despite an anti-incumbency wave and lack of development in the state, one thing that is coming in the way of BJP is the lack of a powerful local leader in its fold who could have challenged the might of four-time CM Sarkar.
Along with his popularity, the CPI (M) leader is loved across the state for his simplicity and honesty. Sarkar is India's poorest CM. His wealth stands at just Rs 3,930.
Recently, when Sarkar went to file his nomination papers to contest polls for the upcoming Tripura Assembly elections, the 69-year-old leader revealed that he has Rs 1,520 in hand and Rs 2,410 in his account in a nationalised bank.
Regarding his official salary as the CM of Tripura, the Left leader donates his entire salary to his party, the CPI-M. However, he gets Rs 5,000 from the CPI (M) as subsistence allowances. He has no cultivable or homestead land. He stays in the CM's official residence in the state capital, Agartala.
However, the BJP claims that Sarkar's image is a lie. In an interview to News18.com, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said that the CPI (M) has assiduously built a false image, a facade of CM Sarkar, outside Tripura.
"In reality, he has run a 'hinsachaari' [violent], atyachaari [oppressive] and bhrashtachaari [corrupt], government in Tripura.
"Violent politics, oppressive, and largely corrupt administration is what people have experienced in Tripura in all these years. So we have made this as our poll pitch--we have promised to the people of freeing them of hinsachaari, atyachaari and bhrashtachaari government, and providing them with a government that is committed to peace and development," added Madhav.
During his recent visit to Tripura, Modi called for a change in the state. The PM without mincing any words directly targeted Sarkar. He added Tripura no longer needed "Manik" but wanted "hira" (highways, i-ways, roadways and airways).
In reply to all the allegations against him and his government, Sarkar on Tuesday stated that there was a concerted effort to assume power in the state by creating rifts in society and accused the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) (the BJP's poll partner) of maintaining clandestine links with terrorists.
"Separatist forces had tried to secede Tripura from the Indian Union in the past. The demand has now changed to a separate state," the veteran CPI (M) leader said.
"The BJP is creating disturbances throughout the nation. Four years back they came to power with promises of 'Acche Din' among others but kept none. Inflation is at all time high post-independence. While the petrol price is going down in the global market it is higher in India," Sarkar added.
|CPIM||49||50||Election Date : Feb 18 2018 |
Counting : Mar 03 2018
|Total||60||59 (1 Vacant)|