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Would the BJP emerge triumphant in Tripura?
Would the people of Tripura embrace the BJP as an alternative to CPI (M)-led front? This is a question which gains momentum as days pass, not only in the tiny Northeastern Indian state but also among the political analysts across the country.

The state, consisting of 60 Assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies falling into eight districts, has been ruled by CPI (M)-led front for consecutive four terms starting from 1993 under the strong leadership of Manik Sarkar. No other political outfit could emerge as an alternative to the Left front in the last 20 years in the state which shares it border with Bangladesh.

The CPI (M), as seen, could easily come out victorious in the last four Assembly elections transforming the state as a strong bastion for the Leftists. But this time, as political analysts predict, the BJP could emerge as a strong rival to the ruling alliance for the first time in history.

In the meanwhile, the party's strategists have started to frequent the state lashing the Left front's fort. Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was considered as the force behind the party's victory in the 2016 Assam Assembly elections, is learnt to have prepared the party's elections strategy for Tripura along with Meghalaya and Nagaland. Sarma, who is also the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), could prove himself as a successful elections strategist.

The NEDA was formed immediately after the last Assam Assembly election by the BJP which played a role in toppling the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh two years before. A dissident group of MLAs led by Kalikho Pul defected the Congress to the People's Party of Arunachal and occupied the power unseating Tuki but ultimately the apex court declared the Pul government as unconstitutional. Till then Pul's outfit remained as one of the constituents of the NEDA. As soon as the apex court ruled in favour of the Congress, its dissident group deserted Pul and returned to their original party and within a short span of time they formed Congress government in the state again electing Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister late Darji Khandu as their leader. But in a dramatic turn, the Khandu-led Congress group baring former chief minister Tuki defected the party to BJP. Before that former chief minister Pul was found dead in his government residence under mysterious circumstances.

 As per the declaration of the Election Commission of India, Tripura will vote on February 18 next and the results of which will be declared on March 3 along with upcoming Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections. Nagaland and Meghalaya will vote on February 27 next. In the meanwhile, defection of the ruling Congress MLAs in Meghalaya has taken place. More than three Congress MLAs of the state have defected from their party to the BJP. Still, the Mukul Sangma-led government in the state enjoys majority. Although defecation of MLAs also occurred in Tripura, but such turmoil could not touch the ruling party as it had been expected. All the Trinamul Congress MLAs of the state had defected from their party to the BJP two years ago.

As part of their election strategy, the BJP has tried to join hands with some regional outfits of the state. In the meanwhile, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura has joined hands with the party indicating a grave challenge for the Left front. Emphasising the state election as a matter of pride, the BJP national president Amit Shah himself has started to take part in election rallies being organised in different parts of the state besides the party's strategists as well as office bearers like Ram Madhav, Himanta Biswa Sarma among others. Aparajita Bhuyan, a state BJP spokesperson, is already camping in Tripura to spearhead the party's poll campaigning. However, it will be a herculean task for the BJP to unseat the Left front from power as the former could only secure meagre two lakh votes in the last Lok Sabha elections despite the Modi wave while the latter got 12 lakh votes.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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