People in Tripura unhappy with Left Front: BJP Leader

28 Jan 2018

People are fed up with the CPM-led Left Front ministry in Tripura and the party will face defeat in the hands of the BJP, this time, a senior leader of the saffron party has said.
Tripura is set to go to polls on February 18 and the results will be declared on March 3. "The destiny of the Left Front ministry is now written on the walls. The people in the state are fed up with the present government due to its misrule and corruption," Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chairman of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said. Seeking to unseat the Left Front which has been in power in the state for the past 25 years, the BJP has recently stitched an alliance with Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), an anti-Left party that had been demanding a separate state for the tribal population. The BJP has decided to contest 51 of the 60 seats in Tripura and allotted the remaining nine seats to the IPFT.
In the last three years, we have consolidated our organisational network in all parts of the state including the rural and the hill areas, Sarma, who is BJP's election in-charge of the state, said. The CPM, however, argued that the people would repose their faith on the Left Front once again as it had implemented its poll pledges.
"We have formed an alternative model of development in which poor people have benefitted the maximum. They would vote for us again," CPM state unit secretary Bijan Dhar said.

The party had in the past criticised the BJP for forging an alliance with the IPFT. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had accused the BJP of joining hands with extremist organisations in Tripura to win the polls. At present, the Left Front has 51 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. The BJP has seven MLAs and the Congress two. The state unit of the Congress, on the other hand, has admitted that the BJP is making steady inroads into the state.
"A communal force like BJP is gaining ground in the state as the leftists have deviated from their ideology, indulged in nepotism and intimidated the Opposition party workers," state Congress vice-president Tapas Dey told PTI. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar might be honest, but he has failed to stop corrupt practices of the party leaders and activists, he said.
Former Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president Sudip Roy Burman, who joined the saffron party last year with five other MLAs, said that change of guard is imminent. The last assembly polls witnessed a fight between the Left Front and the Congress but the scenario is completely different this time, Roy Burman said.
The BJP central leadership had been very particular about the organisation buildup in the state and every month, a central minister had visited Tripura to assess the performance of the party workers, state BJP in-charge Sunil Deodhar said.
"Two years ago, when we started working vigorously in the rural and the tribal-dominated areas, we found out that the people were disenchanted with the Left Front ministry."
More than 50,000 people from the CPM and the Congress have joined the BJP in the last 1.5 years, Deodhar claimed. Rubbishing the ruling party's claim that Tripura is a model state in terms of development, Roy Burman said the available data show that the state is capable of generating only 11 per cent of its total expenditure.
Echoing similar sentiments, BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb said of the eight northeastern states, Tripura has the highest number of unemployed youths in the country and the lowest monthly per capita income in both rural and urban areas. The tribal people in the state are lagging behind other social groups in terms of education and jobs, he added. (PTI)