New Delhi : Electioneering is picking up in poll-bound Tripura.
Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah made a tour of the State on February 6.
At a rally in Santirbazar, the Home Minister cautioned the tribal voters against the double speak of the newly launched tribal-based party Tipra Motha and alleged that it is working in secret understanding and coordination with the Leftists.
“Don’t fall into their trap. I want to tell my adivasi brothers and sisters, those who want to make false promises and get your vote, they are with the Communists,” Amit Shah said.
He said earlier, the Congress and Communists were fighting, but in the run-up to the February 16 assembly polls, the Congress and Communists have come together.
Amit Shah said Tipra Motha, led by Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, is with them.
“If anyone can bring progress for adivasis, it can only be the BJP and Narendra Modi and no one else,” the Home Minister said.
To take on the BJP, burying their traditional rivalry, the CPI-M-led Left Front and the Congress have formed an alliance in Tripura wherein the BJP captured power in 2018. Their alliance only shows their desperation against the popular acceptance of the BJP’s programmes, policies, and developmental works in the state.
The Tipra Motha is not part of it and is trying to win over the tribal votes taking advantage of the tribal population’s anguish against the Left.
Amit Shah also said, “The Congress and Communists have done a great injustice to the tribal society during decades of their rule. The PM Narendra Modi-led BJP Government has provided them with toilets, gas, and pure drinking water and also gave the tribes their rights”.
In 2018 polls, the BJP had won 36 seats after contesting 51, and its ally – a tribal-based party IPFT had won eight of the nine seats it contested.
CPI-M veteran and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar-led regime were ousted after two decades in power. The abundant turnout of Tribals in BJP rallies during the high-profile campaign in 2018 was a crystal clear pointer that good performance of the saffron party in the elections would give them an edge to demolish the CPI-M charge that the pro-Hindutva outfit against tribals and the downtrodden.
Perhaps there was palpable nervousness in the CPI-M camp on the erosion of the tribal support base. Therefore the Chief Minister himself, with 20 years of experience in power, had tried to woo the Bengali voters by telling them repeatedly that the BJP has tied up with a tribal group Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), and may ‘divide’ the state once they come to power.
Tipra Motha is a newly launched party, and the outfit is trying to make an impact in 20 tribal-dominated seats. Last week BJP National President JP Nadda held two massive rallies followed by several other rallies attended by Union Minister Smriti Irani, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, film star Mithun Chakrabarty and West Bengal Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address rallies on February 11 or 12, but dates have not been finalised yet.
JP Nadda, in his speech, had flayed the Opposition alliance of the CPI-M and Congress, saying that they were facing an existential crisis.
JP Nadda gave details of the development initiatives the BJP Government took in Tripura.
Union Minister Smriti Irani, who mainly spoke in Bangla, did not miss mentioning that Congress had forgotten the murders and brutalities of the CPI-M.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma joined the poll campaign in Suryamaninagar, Banamalipur and Krishnapur constituencies. He participated in roadshows with Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha.
In other rallies, film star Mithun Chakrabarty appealed to the voters to elect the BJP to continue the development works.
Nervous of the outcome, the CPI-M did not field former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in this year’s polls.