Kathalia: In an exclusive interview with EastMojo, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik, who is among the heavy-weight BJP candidates fighting the 2023 Tripura Assembly polls, said the ‘Greater Tipraland’ slogan was a plot to help the opposition, particularly the CPIM.
“Greater Tipraland does not signify anything. The person who has coined the slogan also knows that it does not have any benefits. I feel Greater Tipraland is a slogan to help the CPIM,” the Lok Sabha MP said.
The populist BJP government in Tripura will come back to power, Bhoumik said, “Because the party delivered for each and every section of the society, irrespective of their caste, creed or religious identity.”
“When the Left was in power, people of rural areas were deprived based on their political affiliation. This system changed after the BJP came to power,” the Dhanpur Assembly constituency candidate told EastMojo amid her poll campaign.
The senior BJP leader is fighting the elections from her home turf—Dhanpur, an Assembly constituency that the Left has retained for the last 50 years. While veteran CPIM leader and leader of the opposition Manik Sarkar has been contesting from the seat over the years, he has willingly opted out of the electoral contest this upcoming election.
“CPIM has ruled over the people of this constituency for 50 years. We failed to win the seat in the 2018 Assembly elections. But 20 years of Manik Sarkar as chief minister could not do for Dhanpur what the BJP has done in five years,” Bhoumik pointed out.
Dhanpur is among the few crucial constituencies of Tripura where the BJP faces a dual challenge from not just the CPIM, but also the TIPRA Motha.
The ten autonomous district council (ADC) villages, where royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman-led TIPRA Motha is fighting, account for 11,000 tribal votes. About 14,000 minority votes, on the other hand, are considered supporters of the Left.
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Bhoumik, however, is certain that her party will win the minority vote as the BJP was a victim of a malicious campaign of the Left, and that the “real face of the Communists was exposed before the brothers and sisters of the Muslim community after BJP came to power and we are very sure that they will vote for us”.
“The self-style secular parties have tactfully planted a seed of terror and fear among the minority voters of the area. They are spewing venom against the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
She said the government welfare programmes have changed the lives of people living in both the Muslim and the Hindu-dominated pockets of Dhanpur and there was no discrimination.
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