After BJP Surge In Tripura, Left Burns Midnight Oil, Trinamool Congress Retreats

The Left Front has been ruling Tripura since 1993 -- Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is on his fourth consecutive term.

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After BJP Surge In Tripura, Left Burns Midnight Oil, Trinamool Congress Retreats

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BJP has grown in Tripura at the expense of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, said a Left leader

Agartala, Tripura:  A two-day visit by BJP national President Amit Shah to kick off the party's "Mission Tripura" has unsettled the political calm that was in place for 24 years in the state. The ruling Communist regime is worried and even Mamata Banerjee's political inroad in the Left bastion is facing a roadblock.

The Left Front has been ruling Tripura since 1993 -- Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is on his fourth consecutive term. The Communists have as many as 51 legislators in the 60-member assembly. Yet the BJP's aggressive campaign has ruffled feathers.

"The BJP has grown in Tripura at the expense of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. For the Left, they have become the party to watch out for," said Gautam Das, the spokesperson for the Left front in the state.

Calling the situation a "challenge, CPM's Pabitra Kar, the Deputy Speaker of the assembly, said, "The BJP used to get 3 or 4 per cent votes earlier. Now a lot of Congress and TMC leaders have joined them."

With anti-incumbency setting in, the Left Front has already started connecting to the voters for the 2018 assembly elections, where BJP plans to capture power.

Unlike the Left Front in West Bengal, which didn't react to Mamata Banerjee's initial inroads among the state's voters, the Left in Tripura has pitched its poster boy, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar for a grassroot reconnect. He is currently touring far flung areas. The party has, in fact, asked all its legislators to go back to the grassroots and keep the vote bank intact.

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The TMC, which is the main opposition in Tripura, has six legislators who switched over from the Congress. This group is almost ready to change sides again - this time to the BJP.

"We have made it clear to our leadership that if they don't agree to our proposal of support to the BJP, we will have to think of options," said Sudip Roy Burman, a key TMC leader who is the Leader of the Opposition in the state.

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