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Thu, 09 Apr 2020

Northeast Today

FEAR OF LOSING TRIPURA, PUTS BJP IN OUTREACH MODE

FEAR OF LOSING TRIPURA, PUTS BJP IN OUTREACH MODE
February 19
14:49 2020

Despite having only 2 Lok Sabha seats and 1 Rajya Sabha seat, Tripura remains politically important for BJP as it helps the party to counter the nationwide Left politics. Amarjyoti Borah writes.

 

Tripura is a unique state for the BJP, where the BJP came to power in an unexpected manner and has been able to retain its presence by winning all the subsequent elections—by polls, panchayat and Lok Sabha, after storming to power in the state assembly in 2018.

Though the state  has  only  2 Lok Sabha seats and 1 Rajya sabha seat-very small compared to the other bigger states, the BJP doesn’t want to part with the state at any cost as it might ensure the revival of the Left parties in the state again.

Now with protests rising from the state after the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed in both houses of the parliament and it became an Act, the BJP is trying to cautiously deal with the issue in the state.

BJP has deputed its top negotiators from Delhi to talk to the cross section of the society across Tripura, to get the first hand report and feedback from the ground in the state.

It is of utmost important for the BJP to keep on winning the state to be able to challenge the left front across the nation.

“Though the state of Tripura has only a small number of parliamentary seats—two Lok Sabha and one Rajya sabha seats, winning it is very important as it gives a huge moral booster to the party. It is a state where the vote share of the BJP went up from 1.5% to 43%, and there is  a need to keep this momentum going as the BJP is gearing up to take on the Left in Kerala soon heads-on,” said a RSS leader designing strategies for the BJP in the North East region.

Kerala is the only state in  the  country  where   the   BJP   is still struggling to make a breakthrough in electoral politics—despite   massive outreach by the RSS and the BJP in past many years, and despite regular campaigning by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues.

It was then the BJP’s strategy to look at Kerala with a long term objective and to look at the left dominated states  one  at a time—the reason being,  the left parties are cadre based parties, much like the BJP, and it is very difficult to make a break through into the left dominated space.

“West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala are the three states which a huge electoral presence for the left parties. Through the TMC has been able to break into the left fortress in West Bengal in 2011, the left forces was intact in Tripura and Kerala. In Kerala, though  there  is  a  tradition   of voting out incumbent government, still  the  vote share of the left parties in the southern state has been almost consistent,” said a BJP national secretary.

According to BJP strategists Tripura was a major break- though for them and it was also a major moral booster for the party.

“The win in Tripura was important and it is also important to keep winning important elections in  the  state to keep the momentum going. There is also the  issue  of demography in the state—  of tribal community and non tribals, and to be able to win elections in the state, it is important to be able to win the trust and faith of all  sections  of the society and different communities,” said the national secretary.

To dispel any fear and miscommunications, top leaders of the BJP and several senior ministers of the BJP government will be visiting the state to interact with the people and different groups in the state. According to sources, in the next financial year,  the  centre is likely to announce several packages and initiatives for Tripura to boost employment in the state.

The government is also concerned about development in Tripura, as Tripura will be playing an important role in  the government’s ambitious Act East policy.

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