Agartala: With assembly elections of Tripura scheduled early next year, the ruling BJP is making an all-out effort to ensure a clean sweep in the ensuing polls.

The saffron party, which has 36 MLAs in the 60-member assembly constituency, will aim to increase its presence in the state assembly by winning close to 50 seats, if not more, a senior party source told EastMojo on the condition of anonymity.

“A set of crucial decisions have been taken in the two-day long state executive meeting that concluded on Thursday in Udaipur. The executive meeting was organised to press the organisation into electioneering mode,” he said.

“The results of recently held by-elections were widely appreciated by all the party functionaries who were present there, infusing new enthusiasm among the party workers,” the party source said.

He also said that a special master plan has been chalked out for the tribal-dominated hilly region. “Over the years TIPRA, led by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, emerged as a fierce challenge for the BJP in the hills. It has even dealt major blows to the strongholds of BJP’s main ally IPFT in government. To contain the rise of TIPRA politically, a set of decisions have been taken that include restructuring the organisation from top to bottom. Revitalising booths, intensifying campaigns with governments welfare initiatives for tribal population and a time-bound approach in mobilising people with the saffron camp were the key decisions taken,” the source added.

Rebati Tripura, Senior Janajati Morcha leader and MP from East Tripura parliamentary constituency, described the results of by-elections as a silver lining for the saffron party. “The BJP succeeded to retain power in the Surma assembly constituency that was deemed to be a TIPRA stronghold. Over 22,000 voters in that constituency come from the tribal communities, and hence it was obvious if TIPRA had the support of all these voters, the BJP would have ended in number two or three. But, the results have given clear signals that people are now gradually shifting towards BJP,” he said.
According to Tripura, BJP’s internal assessment underlines that the party still has a considerable presence in the hilly region even though it failed to win the TTAADC elections. “In the TTAADC areas, BJP supporters always remained at the receiving end of violence. We have never tried to retaliate but maintained the line that we shall fight it out politically, and our strategy seems to be paying off. The victory in Surma will act as a shot in the arm for supporters working relentlessly for building the party block by block in the hilly areas,” he added.

He said in his parliamentary constituency -East Tripura – 100 booths have been identified as “weak”. “BJP National vice president Dilip Ghosh has been entrusted with strengthening the booths in Tripura. He will arrive on July 15 to hold a series of meetings and impart training to the booth presidents on proper management of booths,” he added, saying that in West Tripura also 100 booths have been selected.

BJP Chief Spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said, “We have a total of 45,000 Pristha Pramukhs (page in charges) across the state who play the key role in the times of elections. There are over 3,300 booths which are all active. In the state executive, leaders of different constituencies have presented a comprehensive study on what is the party’s strength, how many people are working actively, and where temporary and complete fixes are required. Examining the reports, fresh appointments if needed will be made. I would not say everywhere but to some extent replacements and fresh appointments will be made within a short period.”

Chakraborty said that for tribal-dominated areas his party would go for an intense campaign as it feels development is the key narrative that can corner the misleading slogans.

“The BJP government in Tripura approved land patta to forest dwellers. Not only this, they have been made eligible to get PMAY houses. A total of 17 Eklavya model residential schools are being opened, a special project worth Rs 1,300 crore announced for the tribal areas, and perennial issues like water crisis, and poor road connectivity are being addressed by this government only. All the BJP Karyakartas will go house to house and raise awareness among people about BJP’s welfare schemes for the tribal people. Days of misleading politics have ended already,” he added.

On being asked about the BJP’s strategic plans for the ensuing elections, TIPRA Chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman said, “It is their internal policy matter. Every party has its right to do politics in whatever manner they want unless it is affecting people.”

Debbarman also downplayed the BJP’s victory in Surma and said, “See Surma is an SC seat. BJP got 20,000 votes in the 2018 assembly elections and in the by-elections, their vote share was nosedived to 15,000. TIPRA made gains as it had registered a leap of zero to 12,000 votes in the first elections. They should work for their expansions, I have nothing to say on this.”

Chief Minister Manik Saha and Central Observer for BJP MP Vinod Sonkar are confident of the BJP winning the election in 2023.

Also read: Jadavpur University tree audit to save greenery within campus   

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