Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Thursday made it clear that next year’s Assembly elections would be a contest between the Left Front and the BJP and the Left “will not leave an inch of space for the BJP”. Speaking at a meeting in Kolkata, organised by the CPI(M)’s West Bengal State Committee, Sarkar said the BJP has indulged in “ethnic and communal polarisation” to oust the Left Front from power. The meeting was called to express solidarity with the people of Tripura for their relentless struggle against right-wing forces.
Sarkar said the RSS and the BJP were attempting to create a separate state for tribals. “The BJP has raised a slogan in Tripura that the next Assembly election cannot be held under the rule of the Left Front government and President’s Rule should be imposed to hold polls. President’s Rule is imposed if there is a constitutional crisis. At present, there is no constitutional crisis in Tripura and there is also no law-and-order situation,” Sarkar said.
“The BJP is trying to portray the state in a bad light and making baseless demands. In next year’s Assembly election, the Left Front will not leave an inch of space for the BJP and will fight for the unity of the people,” he said. Sarkar slammed the central government for causing an “economic blockade” in the state. “After failing to compete with us on the organisational front, it is trying to create an economic blockade in the state. When the Planning Commission was in place, Northeastern states used to receive special economic packages,” he said.
“After doing away with the Planning Commission, the Centre created the Niti Aayog. Our government has stopped receiving the special economic package and as a result we are losing about Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore every year,” Sarkar added. He slammed the BJP for indulging in ethnic and communal polarisation. “We have always fought for the unity of tribals and have worked for their development. In tribal-dominated areas, the Left Front won all 28 seats in 2013. The BJP now is trying to instigate them (tribals)… against the state government by supporting a statehood demand,” Sarkar said.