Agartala, Feb 14: In the upcoming Tripura Assembly elections, it's a battle royale between incumbent chief minister Manik Sarkar and Team Modi.
The resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using all its manpower and might to win the Tripura elections by unseating the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))-led Left Front government which is in power in the state since 1993.
It's a big challenge to win elections for any party in the northeastern state that is known to be a strong fort of the Left. In fact, Tripura is the last two bastions (the other one is Kerala) where the Left is in power, otherwise the communist parties have almost lost their grounds across the country.
The BJP has been steadily increasing its influence in Tripura since it came to power at the Centre in 2014. The saffron party is working at the grassroots level and developing its cadre base. In the past, elections in the northeastern state were all about contest between the CPI (M)-led Left Front and the Congress.
The Congress which till the last Assembly elections in 2013 was the only contender against the ruling Left Front government, this time seems to have gone missing. In the last elections, the Congress bagged 10 seats and rest was won by the Left Front in the 60-member Tripura Assembly.
The wind of change is quite visible in Tripura in the way people are responding to the campaigning of the BJP. Poll pundits say there is a strong anti-incumbency wave in the state. Experts add that people of Tripura too want to be a part of the development (vikas) model of the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "It can happen only when the state has a BJP government," said an Agartala-based journalist.
The challenge posed by the BJP with its well-known election machinery has really given good amount of panic attack among the left cadres. 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.
Now, as the campaigning is at its peak, the top national leaders of BJP--from PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley and BJP MP Hema Malini, among others--have been vigorously attending various rallies in the state.
To stand against the might of the BJP, the Left Front government has only one mascot--incumbent CM Sarkar--who is quietly (minus the media attention) campaigning across the state.
During his recent visit to Tripura, Modi called for a change in the state. The PM without mincing any words directly targeted the CM by stating that Tripura no longer need "Manik" but wanted 'hira' (highways, i-ways, roadways and airways) at rallies in Sonamura and Kailashahar.
Shah asserted that the BJP will form the next government in Tripura and said that development has suffered under the "misrule" of the CPI(M)-led government in the state.
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 IPFT 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.
A Guwahati-based political analyst told OneIndia that the BJP is making best use of the political vacuum in Tripura. "Sarkar is an honest and humble man. But his government has done little to uplift the poor people of the state. From bad roads to poverty, multiple problems plague Tripura. People are angry and are likely to vote against the Left Front government."
The Assembly elections in Tripura are scheduled on February 18 (Sunday). The results will be out on March 3.
|CPIM||49||50||Election Date : Feb 18 2018 |
Counting : Mar 03 2018
|Total||60||59 (1 Vacant)|