Agartala: Political parties in Tripura, which have been gearing up for the impending Assembly election for some time, have pressed the fast-forward mode in their campaign plans after the poll date was formally announced by the Election Commission in Delhi on Wednesday.
The ruling BJP is set to contest the Assembly election with its old ally – the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a regional political party, a leader of the saffron party said on Wednesday.
“The BJP is always election ready and we are ready for the Assembly election. We have already carried out several outreach programmes, including the Jan Vishwas Yatra,” Tripura BJP general secretary Papia Datta said.
“Since election schedules have been declared, the campaign will be intensified for a landslide victory”, she added.
Datta said IPFT with which the BJP had an alliance in the 2018 Assembly elections and formed the government will continue. “Our central leaders will be here to take decisions on any new partner,” she said.
BJP state election in-charge Mahendra Singh, party in-charge of Tripura, Mahesh Sharma and its northeast coordinator Sambit Patra are expected to visit Tripura soon, state BJP media in-charge Sunit Sarkar said.
The two major political parties in the state – CPI(M) and Congress have already announced they will contest the Assembly poll jointly to defeat BJP in the coming election.
Senior CPI(M) leader Pabitra Kar said, “From our side, we are ready for the Assembly election in alliance with the Congress. I appeal to the EC to ensure violence-free poll.”
A Congress rally was attacked near Khumulwng in West Tripura district on Wednesday, the day the election dates were announced by the EC in New Delhi, he added.
When contacted Congress leader and the lone MLA Sudip Roy Barman said “I am happy that the youths have come out to join the bike rally taken out by our party in Agartala despite threats and intimidations of the saffron brigade. I am confident the people will throw out the BJP in the coming election.”
The supremo of regional party Tipra Motha, Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma said the party plans to contest 40 to 45 seats of the 60-member House. There will be no electoral understanding without a written assurance for ‘Greater Tipraland’, he reiterated on Tuesday.
Trinamool Congress state president Pijush Kanti Biswas Wednesday said the party is ready to contest the election with “full force” and talks are on for tie-ups with “suitable parties”.
“But no concrete decision has been taken as yet”, he added.
The BJP-IPFT alliance defeated the Left Front government in 2018 when the saffron party bagged 36 Assembly seats. IPFT had won eight.
CPI(M) had won only 16 seats and the Congress failed to bag a single seat, a performance which is the worst in recent memory. Its only seat was won in a by-poll last year.
During its five-year tenure, the BJP-led government’s journey was not smooth as three of its MLAs, including Sudip Roy Barman, quit the party. The BJP high command changed the chief minister replacing Biplab Deb with Manik Saha, barely a year before the state election, to meet the situation.
Alliance IPFT, on the other hand, has lost force in the state’s tribal belt after party supremo N C Debbarma died, two other MLAs quit and one was disqualified over the past five years.
On the other hand, the rise of Tipra Motha, a regional party floated by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya, in the state’s political firmament banking on the ‘Greater Tipraland’ slogan, has changed the tribal politics of the northeastern state.
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The party, which won the election in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC), has reportedly impacted the vote bank of IPFT and destroyed the Gana Mukti Parisad, the CPI-M tribal wing, political analysts said. Manikya, who floated the party encashing his royal legacy and sentimental ‘Greater Tipraland’ slogan has been able to establish his party as a formidable force in the TAADC area, which sent 20 MLAs to the Assembly.
Tripura Assembly has total of 60 seats and its current strength is 53. BJP has 33 MLAs, IPFT four, CPI-M 15 and Congress one.
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