"They had a pact. In Delhi, they have dosti (friendship) and in Tripura they have kushti (wrestling)," the Prime Minister said. The lack of development in the state under the Left-regime, he said, was the reason why he received so much affection. As case in point, he cited the crowds at his rallies.
"I need to apologise since we could not accommodate people in the field. Today, from the helipad till this ground, I saw a human wall," PM Modi said in Agartala, where his second rally of the day was held.
"Can anyone from Tripura say development is really taking place? Red stops development as the red light stops cars at a traffic signal. For the lights to turn green, you need saffron first," the Prime Minister said.
This was PM Modi's second visit to the state. On February 8, he had addressed a rally in Sonamura, where he had taken on the state's three-time Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Over the last months, the BJP had conducted a high-profile campaign, bringing in senior cabinet ministers and state Chief Ministers to the tiny northeaster state. Besides PM Modi, Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, BJP chief Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have campaigned in the state.
The party already controls three of the eight northeastern states - Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. This time, it hopes to win in all three states that are going to polls - Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Tripura will be its first effort to win over a non-Congress state, which is expected to provide a blueprint for the party's two big targets - Left-ruled Kerala and Mamata Banerjee's Bengal.