Agartala, Feb 16: Unlike in the previous elections in Tripura, this time there is a "new party" that is clearly calling the shots, literally.
As the Congress went almost missing in poll-bound Tripura, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has emerged as the major contender to challenge the incumbent Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))-led Left Front government in the state.
In the last Assembly elections, the Congress bagged 10 seats and the rest was won by the Left Front in the 60-member Tripura Assembly.
There are allegations that like in the past too, this time also the Congress and the Left parties have "secretly join hands" so that the rule of the CPI (M)-led government remains intact.
Sudip Roy Burman, former state Congress president and an MLA who had joined the BJP, said, "The Congress was not serious about fighting the CPI(M)" and claimed that the BJP would defeat the Marxists in the Assembly polls.
Burman, who headed the state Congress in the 2013 Assembly elections, told PTI, "In 2013, the CPI(M) had faced strong anti-incumbency but the Congress central leadership had helped the CPI (M) in the state clandestinely for enjoying the party's support in Parliament".
On Thursday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tripura to campaign for the BJP he reiterated Burman's allegations. Modi accused that the Congress and the Left parties have a "secret understanding" for the upcoming Tripura Assembly polls.
"The Congress and the Left parties like in Kerala and West Bengal have a secret deal for the Tripura polls. To change the future of Tripura, reject the two parties and vote for the BJP," Modi said during two election rallies.
"Both the parties have destroyed Tripura. Do not trust them. By putting up candidates in the elections, the Congress is doing drama in Tripura though both the Congress and Left parties have dosti (friendship) in Delhi," he said.
"No big Congress leader came to Tripura for election campaign because they (the Congress and the CPI (M) have a clandestine pact." The PM termed the Congress as a vote-cutting party and said the Congress is helping the CPI(M) to win the polls.
In his second phase of election campaigning in Left-ruled Tripura, Modi addressed two election rallies on Thursday. Earlier on February 8, the PM addressed two election rallies in northern Tripura and western Tripura.
Modi said that democracy "is in danger" under the rule of Left Front in Tripura. The PM added that the CPI (M) during its 25-year rule "destroyed both democracy and the future of Tripura".
According to a pre-poll survey, this time the BJP and its alliance partner, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), are likely to unseat the Left Front government.
The elections in the state are scheduled on Sunday (February 18). The two other northeastern states--Meghalaya and Nagaland--are also going to polls in February.
The Assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya are slated on February 27. The election results of all the three northeastern states will be declared on March 3. All the three states have 60-member assemblies.
|CPIM||49||50||Election Date : Feb 18 2018 |
Counting : Mar 03 2018
|Total||60||59 (1 Vacant)|