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‘Red’ Tripura hit by wave of ‘Saffron’

March 4, 2018

Red Tripura hit by Saffron Wave


The “Modi Wave” topples the Left-Front

The dates of state elections in Tripura were announced in January this year along with the states of Nagaland and Meghalaya, the RSS backed BJP cadre base within the region were quick to hit the ground running. The incumbent governments were the biggest challenge present in all the three states for BJP, while the party was looking to make inroads with the hope forming their governments in the three states and a sight on 2019 General Elections. Bhartiya Janta Party’s victory has lot to do with Sunil Deodhar, the man who took charge of BJP’s election campaign against the incumbent Left-Front government led by Manik Sarkar. Sunil Deodhar an RSS pracharak was handed the responsibility of BJP’s poll strategist in the state of Tripura and the man delivered goods, as for the first time in state elections, the party launched a daunting onslaught to topple the 20-year-old incumbent Left-Front Government.

The rise of BJP in Tripura

From being virtually non-existent in Tripura to become the leading party in the state, BJP has made significant inroads over the last two and a half years. The RSS pracharaks went into the Left dominated interior areas of the state, where the tribal population has been supporting CPI(M) since the early 70s in last century and organized Shakhas. Events and rallies were carried out in full-flow within cities as well, such magnitude of election campaigning. This, resulted in people joining BJP, as they felt that Congress hasn’t posed any immediate threat to CPI(M) in the state since last two decades. People felt that in BJP they will at least have a stronger opposition for the Left-Front, as BJP’s presence in the state will definitely push the Left-Front government to work more efficiently towards improving the condition of Tripura. With Congress almost on the verge of being reduced to zero seats in the assembly and unable to protect party members from frequent attacks on them by CPI(M) cadre. The disgruntled Congress party members were left with no choice and saw BJP’s rise in the state as an opportunity for the leaders to challenge the Left-Front and joined hands with BJP, strengthening BJP’s presence in the state.

Factors that led to BJP’s dominance in the state

  • The deaths of over 100 people in 2014 due to Malaria outbreak in state caused a massive controversy in the state as question were raised on states preparedness to tackle such health epidemics and lack of state infrastructure.
  • Congress’ cadre base was upset with party’s inability to protect the members from frequent attacks by CPI(M) cadre.
  • BJP and RSS workers organised Shakhas and membership drives in the remotest areas of the state where CPI had a strong presence and recruiting members in significant numbers, increased party’s vote base in the tribal areas of Tripura.
  • Congress members and leaders saw the rise of BJP in state as an opportunity for them to revive their political career, as Congress’ presence in the state was eroding fast.
  • Unemployment was a massive challenge for the former government, as close to 19% of the total population of state were unemployed in March 2016 according to the state’s economic survey 0f 2015-16.
  • This was the first election in India, where 47000 “Millennials” or first time voters’ as they voted for the first time and were considered by many political analysts as as kingmakers in this election. The majority of “millennial” voters were in favor of change as they felt that ever since they were born they have been living under the same rule and now was the time to try a new face as the state lags behind in terms of development from the rest of the country.
  • People were impressed by the speed of development in BJP ruled states and felt that BJP coalition can lead the state to similar levels of development and create more job opportunities for the unemployed youth of Tripura.
  • Frustration of misrule was growing amongst the masses as the voters felt that political change is certainly needed in order progress along with the rest of India, as BJP’s slogan #chalo paltai became the voice of the elections for the disgruntled population.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be duly credited for BJPs success in Tripura, as PM’s rallies in the state saw massive turnouts. People believed in Prime Minister’s image as leader of India, trusting his party can certainly take the steps to make Tripura self sustained and improve the economy of the state.

Giant stride before 2019 Lok Sabha elections

With 2019 Lok Sabha elections in sight, BJP’s victory in Tripura will surely boost party’s chances of registering a landslide victory in 2019 and wipe Congress off from the political map of India. The highlight of the election was, the Left and Right coming in direct confrontation for the first time in India’s electoral history. The strong gust of “Modi wave” has swept Tripura as they cornered Left to one corner while throwing Congress off of the map of the state. While people of Tripura will be hoping for the BJP led coalition with Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Tripura (IPFT) to deliver on the promises made before the elections, BJP will be hoping to make the most out of the opportunity given to them by the people of Tripura as any wrong step taken by the government can dent BJP’s performance in the 2019 General Assembly Elections.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.


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