BJP Scripts History In Tripura

Mumbai—The BJP-IPFT combine scripted history on Saturday by winning the Tripura Assembly polls, ending 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the state.

The party captured 23 seats on its own while its alliance partner the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) bagged 7 seats, giving the combine a majority in the House, according to Election Commision (EC) sources.

The elections in 59 seats in the 60-member Assembly were held on February 18. Polling was countermanded in one seat due to the death of a CPI(M) candidate.

The BJP is also leading in another 12 constituencies and the IPFT in one.

The saffron party inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Left Front which had never faced such a situation even when it had lost power in 1988 to the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samity combine.

The BJP’s strong showing came as a surprise for many as the party did not even have a councillor in Tripura. It had secured less than two per cent votes in the 2013 Assembly election in the state.

According to an EC source, the BJP, which contested in 51 seats in Tripura, has secured over 42 per cent of the votes.

Among the winning candidates in the BJP were Biplab Deb, its state unit president.

Its ally IPFT, which fielded candidates in nine seats, got nearly 8 per cent votes.

On the other hand, the CPI(M)-led Left Front, which had captured 50 of the 60 seats in the 2013 Assembly polls, is expected to secure nearly 44 per cent this time, the EC source said.

The Left Front had lost in 1988 Assembly polls to the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samity combine by just one seat.

The Congress is not expected win a single seat. Its vote share is likely to dip to slightly over two per cent, the EC source said.

BJP leader Ram Madhav said that the people in the state have voted for a change.

“They have supported our slogan for change,” he said, adding that the CPI(M) gave a “spirited fight”.

BJP in-charge in Tripura and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “People were fed up with the Manik Sarkar government which has been ruling the state for more than two decades and wanted to get rid of the CPI(M) rule.”

He also said the BJP’s alliance with the tribal dominated IPFT has also helped the saffron party.

“Tribal votes in Tripura are around 35 per cent and they voted for the BJP lock, stock and barrel,” he said.

Sarma also dismissed the suggestion that the minorities, particularly the Christians in the northeast, were against the BJP, saying the community “wholeheartedly” supported the party.

On the poll outcome, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Tripura voters have given their mandate for a BJP-IPFT government in the state. We thank the people of Tripura for giving us the opportunity to serve them for the past 25 years.”

He said that CPI(M) would continue to oppose the BJP and its “divisive agenda” not only in Tripura but throughout the country.

He alleged that the BJP has used both “money and muscle power in Tripura”.

In Meghalaya, the Assembly election results were likely to throw up a hung verdict, while in Nagaland, it was a close close contest between the ruling Naga People’s Front and the BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party combine.

The Congress is in power only in one state — Mizoram — out of the eight northeastern states. The BJP is in power in three states — Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh — while the Sikkim Democratic Front, an NDA ally, is in power in Sikkim. The BJP first came to power in the northeast by winning in Assam under Sonowal’s leadership.

Govt Felicitates PM;Says J&K’s ‘Momentous’ Problems Need Redress With Fresh Political Resolve

The J&K Government felicitated the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for BJP’s impressive performance in three north-eastern states.

“With its latest impressive performance in the north-eastern states of Tripura and Nagaland, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his party have got the fresh political and electoral legitimacy to take on the challenges confronting the country and the region on economic and political fronts,” said Minister for Works, Naeem Akhtar on behalf of the government.

Akhtar, who is also the State Government spokesman, expressed the hope that with the fresh public approval of his policies and programmes, the Prime Minister would give a new impetus to his intensive developmental and inclusive political agenda.

Reiterating that the resolution of momentous problems confronting Jammu and Kashmir should be brought to the centre-stage with fresh political resolve, Akhtar called for making renewed efforts in reaching out to people of J&K to end the vicious cycle of death and destruction and ensuring a prosperous future for its enterprising young generation like their counterparts in other states of the country.

“I hope the central government, under the leadership of Mr Modi will make a renewed effort to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, address the causes of alienation and trust deficit and work towards finding a lasting solution to the problems plaguing the State,” he said, adding that the country’s political leadership need to pick up the threads and carry forward the reconciliation and resolution process started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003 which had helped in substantively transform the ground situation in the state, both within the mainland and along the borders.

Akhtar said despite ideological and political divergences, PDP joined hands with BJP on the basis of an “Agenda of Alliance” to provide a broad-based political platform to the people in all the regions and sub-regions of the State.

No Respect For Disruptive Politics: Modi

Hailing the election mandate in the northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the people of the country have “no respect for negative and disruptive politics” and have reposed their faith in the NDA’s positive and development-oriented agenda.

“Time and again, election after election, the people of India are reposing their faith in the positive and development oriented agenda of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance). People do not have the time or respect for negative, disruptive and disconnected politics of any kind,” Modi said in a series of tweets referring to the BJP’s performance in three northeastern states of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

He also said that the “people of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura have spoken!”

“I thank the people of these states for supporting the good governance agenda and ‘Act East Policy’ of BJP and our valued allies. We remain committed to working towards fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the people,” the Prime Minister said.

He also said that the party’s victory in Tripura was not an ordinary victory but a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation.

“The victory of BJP is not an ordinary electoral victory. This journey from ‘Shunya’ (zero) to ‘Shikhar’ (top) has been made possible due to a solid development agenda and the strength of our organisation. I bow to every BJP Karyakarta (worker) for working assiduously on the ground for years,” Modi said.

“The historic victory in Tripura is as much an ideological one. It is a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation. Today peace and non-violence has prevailed over fear.

We will provide Tripura the good government that the state deserves,” he said.

He described the Tripura election as an “epoch-making one”. “What my sisters and brothers of Tripura have done is extraordinary. No words will be enough to thank them for the phenomenal support towards the BJP in Tripura. We will leave no stone unturned in transforming Tripura,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set to form a government for the first time in Tripura by defeating the ruling CPI-M. The elections in Tripura were held on February 18.

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