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Fri, 24 Nov 2017

Northeast Today

Will Amit Shah Succeed in Uprooting Left from Tripura?

Will Amit Shah Succeed in Uprooting Left from Tripura?
July 07
13:36 2017

June Edition, NET Bureau, Statewide Tripura, Pinaki Das

After Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP has expanded its foray into the Northeast by forming a government in Manipur with its allies and in control of Nagaland with Naga People’s Front, a BJP ally. But the saffron party is not resting just yet with its target to capture the remainingn Northeastern states which are going to election in 2018.

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, who till now has been a successful strategic man with the massive success in the Uttar Pradesh election, had recently visited Left bastion Tripura and announced that the BJP’s next “target” to form a government in Tripura and make Northeast India Congress and Left ‘free’.

During the elections of 2018 Tripura shall be the lone Leftruled state among the four states of the region in which polling shall take place. Though Congress is in power in Mizoram and leads a coalition government in Meghalaya but Naga People’s Front, a BJP ally, is in control of Nagaland.

Shah’s two days visit to Tripura, was part of his 95-day nationwide tour for expanding the BJP’s footprint, had mainly focused on meeting the party workers to take an assessment of the local preparation for the party’s victory plan in the assembly election likely to take place early next year.

Shah held a series of closed door meeting with the state BJP president Biplab Deb and observer Sunil Deodhar and in presence of Assam’s Minister Himant Biswa Sarma and national general secretary Ram Madhav, whosemanoeuvring in Manipur, allowed the BJP to steal Congress’ thunder.

It is learned that the most important issue, on which after several rounds of discussions but could not come to any conclusion, has been the differences among the local leadership of BJP and Assam leaders over taking Congress turned Trinamool Congress MLAs in the party. But the main bone of contention has been Sudip Roy Barman.

Himant Biswa Sarma and Ram Madhav though favoured Roy Barman on the ground reality that opposition vote should not get divided in order to give tough fight to the CPIM and TMC shall be a determining factor in all constituencies and can worsen the possibility which ultimately shall be in favour of Left Front.

On the contrary the local leadership argued that ‘ill reputed’ Roy Barman who has been carrying a ‘take-over’ attitude throughout, his entry to the party will not only give a wrong message to the party workers but to the people of the state as well.

There has been speculation that during Amit Shah’s visit majority out of the six TMC MLA’s and at least one out of the three Congress MLA’s shall join BJP but ultimately nothing happened though few of those MLA’s and senior leaders were found coming out late in the night from the state guest house where the BJP national president stayed for two days.

Shah’s visit began with a 5km roadshow from the airport to the city and concluded with a ‘parivartansankalp rally’ at Kumarghat, about 150km from state capital Agartala. The turnout was sizeable for the BJP that before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was nowhere on Tripura’s political horizon.

The BJP president gave a clear message that conquering Tripura in the next assembly election is the party’s top priorities and shall do everything to give freedom to the people of Tripura from the clutches of Left Front.

Shah said, “The BJP has formed governments in Haryana, Maharashtra and in the Northeast under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our next target is Tripura. The corrupt government under Chief Minister Manik- Sarkar has done very little for the development of the people of the state but ensured that the party cadres and the CPI(M) party become rich at the cost of the people of the state and for whom the centre has provided thousands of crores of money. The CPI(M) government has been organising political attacks and facilitating infiltration of Bangladeshis in more than two decades of rule.”

The BJP national president however, was non-committal about any alliance but admitted that regional parties have helped BJP gain foothold in the region.

The BJP has seen a jump in membership from 15,000 in 2014 to more than 21 lakh now. In all elections held after 2014, the BJP replaced Congress – earlier the main opposition party – in the second spot behind the CPI-M or associate Left parties. In the 2013 assembly election, 47 of BJP’s 50 candidates had lost even their deposits.

With this trip, Shah, who has been the mastermind behind BJP’s recent surge in the country aims to lay the groundwork for the party’s expansion in the northeastern state of Tripura which is being ruled by the Left for more than two decades.

Keeping in mind next year’s state assembly elections of Tripura now it will be interesting to see to what extend Amit Shah, known for his aggressive brand of politics and considered the ‘the Chanakaya of BJP’, is successful in his moves to uproot the Communist who have deep-rooted in the minds and souls of the people of Tripura.

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