Bursting crackers, chanting slogans, and waving flags, hundreds of BJP supporters turned up for the party’s poll victory rally in Tripura’s capital Agartala on Friday, with many saying that Congress and the Left have no space left in the state. To mark its victory in the Northeastern state, the BJP organised a ‘Dhanyavad Samabesh’ (Thanksgiving rally) at Agartala’s Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhavan.
Senior BJP leader and Law Minister in Tripura government, Ratan Lal Nath, said that although the rally was named ‘Dhanyavad Samabesh’, it was actually a poll victory rally and that people should celebrate by chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.’
“Modiji has done excellent work. We want him to be Prime Minister again and again. I voted in favour of BJP in 2018 for Tripura assembly elections. I also voted for them in the Lok Sabha polls. There is no space left for the Left,” said a 34-year-old businessman Ziko Malakar. He pointed out the handling of the Doklam crisis and carrying out surgical strikes as the major achievements of the Modi-led government.
Many like Ziko joined the victory rally. Babul Sutradhar, a middle-aged man who was denied a government job despite several attempts during the CPI (M)-led Left Front regime, felt that BJP’s approach towards self-employment was correct. “Everyone should practice self employment. The government is supporting us. Modiji has done Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” he said.
Harisadhan Sarkar, a 52-year-old BJP worker, said, “Left leaders pushed Tripura to severe under-development and crisis during its 25-year-old tenure. Congress has failed to make any change and worked as B-team of communists. Sarkar feels people have thrown away the Left forever and their foreign ideology wouldn’t gain traction in the state anymore.”
Dulal Chandra Saha, a tea vendor who came donning a Modi cap and NaMo printed T-shirt, said he used to be a communist party worker but shifted to the saffron party in 2018. “We have voted only for Modiji. Our candidates were good but we only saw Narendra Modi this time. There is no space for anyone else, Congress or communists,” he said.
BJP, which never won any Lok Sabha seat from Tripura ever in the past, emerged victorious in all two Parliamentary constituencies of the state this year, bagging 49.26 per cent of all votes cast in the election here. Also, both Lok Sabha candidates of the party from Tripura were first-timers.
Even during its unprecedented victory in 2018 state assembly polls when it totally decimated the Left Front, the BJP got only 44 per cent of the valid polled votes.
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said the party ended communal violence, established financial stability, replaced scams by schemes and has built a strong India. Madhav, who is often credited with engineering the transition from Left to Right in Tripura in 2018 Assembly elections, said, “BJP government under Narendra Modiji’s stewardship will go a long way in future. We are confident that BJP will still be in power in 2047, when the country will celebrate its Independence Centenary celebrations”.
He also said his party didn’t use successes of the Indian Army and other armed forces for their poll campaign but supported use of nationalism in campaigns saying, “Nationalism is in BJP’s DNA”.
Referring to the Congress party’s 27 year-long ruling stint at the Parliament from 1950 till 1977, Madhav said his party would now break this record and become the longest-serving party in power in the central government.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who spearheaded the poll campaign in his state along with West Bengal and few other states this Lok Sabha election, asked supporters to prepare a booth-wise list of everyone who didn’t vote for his party and appeal them to support BJP in the coming elections.
“Panchayat elections are coming ahead. Make a booth-wise list of everyone who voted for other parties. Appeal them to support us in the coming elections. This mantra will bring a new wave of support for BJP,” he said.
The Biplab Deb-led government started changes in state administration 24 hours after the announcement of Lok Sabha results. 16 IAS officers were transferred, the Director General of Police was sent on long leave and Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman, who was often seen as Biplab Deb’s contender for the CM’s post, was removed from the state cabinet.
However, CM Deb said his party didn’t believe in the politics of violence and retribution. Claiming extensive post-election violence was unleashed during the erstwhile Left Front regime, Deb appealed to his party workers to maintain peace and coordination among people.