Tripura Assembly Polls Likely To Test CPM's New Political Line

Earlier this week, the CPM released its draft political resolution reiterating its anti-Congress stand. The Tripura election could be a test of the political line that will be finalised at the CPM's party congress in April.

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Tripura assembly election: Manik Sarkar has been chief minister for four successive terms


Agartala:  Ahead of Sunday's assembly polls, the BJP's social media war room in Agartala is buzzing with activity. Among the volunteers busy tweeting and promoting the party's slogan "Chalo Paltai" (Let's bring change) are young people who had Left leanings in the past. 

Till a few years ago, 28-year-old Mrinal Kanti Deb was a top leader of the CPM's student wing SFI. Today, he is a BJP spokesperson in Tripura.

"In 2012, CPM got divided into two groups on the political line of whether to be with the Congress or to oppose it. Division on this issue still remains. We thought that BJP is such a platform that has since its inception been anti-Congress. The RSS ideology is also against the Congress. So lakhs of youngsters have joined the BJP," Mr Deb told NDTV.  

Earlier this week, the CPM released its draft political resolution reiterating its anti-Congress stand. The Tripura election could be a test of the political line that will be finalised at the CPM's party congress in April.

At the CPM's central committee meeting held last month in Kolkata, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury's suggestion for some understanding with the Congress to dislodge the BJP was voted against. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was reportedly among those who had opposed Mr Yechury's idea.

But the CPM says the party's line won't impact its prospects in the Tripura elections. "The lesson and message from Tripura to the nation will strengthen all the secular democratic forces to form a new political alternative," said CPM politburo member Brinda Karat.

Not just the CPM, even the Congress has lost its supporters to the BJP in Tripura, including its former state chief Sudip Roy Burman. 

"The people of Tripura would have changed this Left government long ago but it did not happen due to the dubious role of the Congress high command, considering the compulsions of national politics. May top Congress leaders earlier told us that it didn't matter whether the Left or the Congress was in power in Tripura as long as there was a Congress-led government at the centre," alleged Mr Burman. 

And this is where the BJP feels it has a better poll strategy in place. 

"We are trying to consolidate the anti-Left and anti-Congress votes. We built the party organization in the state after which people from Trinamool and Congress joined us. We also have an ally in the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura," said Himanta Biswa Sarma, the BJP's election in-charge for Tripura. 

How Tripura votes will be known on March 3, the day results are announced.


Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.

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