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AFTER BENGAL, TMC EYEING LION’S SHARE IN TRIPURA TOO!

The Trinamool Congress has taken the Tripura “issue” to Delhi, the heart of India’s political activities, on Monday.

The delegation had sought time with Union Home Minister, Amit Shah following the arrest of young leader Saayoni Ghosh.

Even as you read this article on Wednesday, the stage is set for the prestigious and crucial civic elections in Agartala on Thursday.

The Left and Trinamool may have never been on the same platform or dais for any occasion, but the way CPI(M) reacted on Sunday it seems that both the parties are on the same page as far as Tripura is concerned and especially when it comes to cornering the saffron might.

TMC’s young leader Saayoni Ghosh’s arrest triggered CPI(M) to react. The party on Sunday lambasted her arrest and the alleged attack on TMC members outside a police station in Tripura.

“Leaders and candidates of all parties, including the Left parties, were attacked several times and despite complaints, police did not arrest the culprits.

Police are playing the role of silent spectators,” the statement, issued by the CPI(M) state secretariat, said. During the crucial Bengal Assembly Polls earlier this year, TMC leaders tagged the saffron party leaders of other States as “Bohiragoto or “Outsiders”.

The same tag is, however, now haunting the TMC in Tripura. Sensing a political crisis earlier on, Sushmita Dev rushed to Agartala and deftly played the local card and had rostered TMC leaders’ regular visit to districts and organise meetings and collect feedback from the locals.

She also said, the local people who would select their leaders and the manifesto would be made following the demand of the locals. Sushmita Dev has time and again reiterated that if TMC forms government in Tripura, the government would not be run on directives from Nagpur or Bengal.

The forthcoming civic elections in Tripura are crucial for the Left and especially the TMC which is trying to make an imprint in the state and the prestigious civic elections are being considered as run up or a curtain raiser to the 2023 Assembly elections in the northeastern state.

For BJP, the saffron party would want to maintain its giant stature in the state after it nudged out the Left Front from the state in the last Assembly election.

Bolstered by its tremendous success in the crucial assembly elections in West Bengal earlier this year, the TMC is raring to snatch Tripura from the saffron party and hence soon after forming the government in West Bengal, a sizable part of TMC has shifted base to Tripura to ensure that it creates an impact there.

The political fever in the state has been rising steadily ever since June this year when the TMC realised that it could impress upon the huge Bengali speaking crowd and since then both the BJP and TMC have gone on a hyper mode campaigning for the coveted civic polls

The seat count is 334 in the urban local bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation (51 wards), 13 Municipal Councils, and six Nagar Panchayats across Tripura.

As per the State Election Commission records, BJP has already won 112 of the 334 seats uncontested. The BJP has already secured majority in seven civic bodies in Ranir Bazar, Jirania, Mohanpur, Santir Bazar and Udaipur in southern Tripura and Kamalpur in northern Tripura and Bishalgarh in Western Tripura.

Seven hundred and eightyfive contestants are in the fray for the remaining 222 seats, elections for which are slated for November 25. Altogether, 5,94,772 voters will exercise their franchise in the civic poll. Women voters will, however, outnumber male voters. For the BJP, this will be the first civic election after the saffron party stormed to power in 2018.

The cakewalk win for BJP in all those uncontested seats will also drive home a message to TMC who has been campaigning aggressively in the state and trying its luck for a ballot success in Tripura.

The TMC, however, feels that there is an undercurrent of dislike and discomfort among the locals against the BJP and it (TMC) hopes that this “undercurrent of resentment” against the BJP would help it make a mark in the Agartala Municipal Corporation elections to start with.

Tripura, like West Bengal is dominated by Bengali speakers and Trinamool feels that the alleged “misrule’ of the Biplab Kumar Deb-headed coalition Government led by the saffron party may be a booster factor for the TMC’s fortunes.

For the TMC, this is the first attempt by the party to contest civic polls outside West Bengal. The party has fielded 51 candidates, including 27 women.

However, what happens in the remaining seats of the civic polls will be clear on November 28, but till then, no party is willing to give away an inch of ground to its opponent in this “poll Kurukshetra.”

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

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  • TMC
  • TRIPURA TOO
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