TIPRA's Pradyot sees delimitation as threat to tribal community

Agartala: With the call for opposition unity falling flat on its face, the Left is finding it hard to convince its ally Congress and anti-BJP forces to keep faith in them. 

After the election results, former TIPRA Motha Chairman and elected MDC from Takarjala Pradyot Kishore Debbarma went all guns blazing against the CPIM for its faulty election strategy. Debbarman accused the party of failing to protect their foot soldiers and getting votes for candidates. The Congress extended its support to the CPIM candidates but appeared to be sulking after the Left candidate bit the dust in the elections. 

However, the Congress agreed about poll rigging. 

Speaking to EastMojo over the failure of the INDIA alliance in Tripura by-elections, TPCC President Asish Kumar Saha said, “We are not ruling out the fact that polls had been rigged on a mass scale. Polling agents were attacked, and a reign of terror was unleashed in areas where opposition parties have substantial numbers of voters. Money and muscle power were used to the greatest extent to get the votes and they did it successfully.” 

But Saha was also concerned over the election strategy of the Left and a lack of coordination among opposition parties which, according to him, resulted in this poll debacle. “No political party should enter into the electoral battle just for the sake of being relevant in the political discourse. If the party in contest fails to throw any challenge to the ruling party, there is no point in fielding candidates and making tall claims,” said Saha. 

He felt that a well-calibrated election strategy could have posed a formidable challenge to the saffron camp. 

“Coordination and collective approach are key factors which were missing in the election strategy of the opposition during the by-polls”, he added. 

Indicating that the Congress is also contemplating contesting forthcoming elections, Saha said as a political party the Congress would not compromise with its aspirations time and again. 

“As a political party, we have political aspirations that should be considered by others when two or more parties are in an electoral understanding,” he pointed out. 

Meanwhile, TIPRA Motha’s attack on the CPIM was much sharper and direct in nature. “We have been accused of playing second fiddle to the BJP. In these elections, we did not field any candidates and the results are in front of all. The CPIM, due to its arrogance, did not discuss anything with us and fielded its candidates. We are here to fight for a cause and to be precise our party does not want to take any side if we don’t get support from parties who want our support,” Debbarman said in his audio message. 

He also targeted the INDIA alliance. “The constituent parties are fighting with each other at the state level, breaking all norms of alliance, but at the national level they call themselves the INDIA alliance. On the other hand, we are not part of any political alliance or formation, but still, we are accused of playing the spoilsport for the opposition,” Debbarman had said. 

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Even as TIPRA Motha did not take any official stand during the by-elections, the party actively campaigned in the opposition’s favour. CPIM candidate from Dhanpur, Kaushik Chanda, publicly admitted TIPRA Motha’s support at the ground level. “In many polling stations, TIPRA Motha youth workers discharged the responsibility of polling agents for our party. Most started their political career with CPIM and later switched to TIPRA Motha due to some reasons. Because of their help, we could send polling agents to all the polling stations located in the interior and tribal-dominated areas”, Chanda told reporters at Dhanpur. 

CPIM leaders, however, maintained that the main reason behind the electoral drubbing was rigging, and the ECI did not pay any attention to the demand for fresh elections. None of the senior leaders were in the mood to accept that they had lost the elections because of their fault.

Also Read | Tripura: Several injured in clashes between BJP, TIPRA workers

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