Tripura has been the Red bastion for the last few decades. Please tell us about the BJP strategies to counter the Communists in the upcoming Tripura Assembly election in 2018.
The concept of ‘Panna Pramukh’ being introduced in Tripura for the first time is a game-changer. A Panna Pramuckh or Page Incharge is a karyakarta who takes responsibility of one page of the voters’ list and communicates with all the 60 voters listed on the page. No opposition party till date has succeeded in consolidating the organization up to the booth level in the State. BJP has successfully formed all 3170 booth committees which show our strong presence on the ground. From mandal and district up to the State level, we have functional committees of all the seven morchas. We are relying on our strong organizational presence and the huge anti-incumbency along with massive Modi wave.
There have been many alleged political murders of RSS and BJP workers and crimes against women in the state in these past months. What do you have to say about the state law and order situation?
The Communist-agenda driven government and a politicized administration have virtually left the State with poor law and order situation. Communists are by principle intolerant towards opposite political views motivating them to eliminate BJP and RSS workers. The crime rate against women is 86 percent while conviction rate is 25 percent. This gives a clear picture of the sorry state of law and order. The CPI(M) runs its own kangaroo courts, and issues such as atrocities against women are being settled in local party offices. The local police station does not register any complaint until and unless it receives a green signal from party local units.
The BJP alleges the Left Front government is involved in massive scams. Do you think people of Tripura will believe you?
People of Tripura has already charge-sheeted the CPI(M) as it is evident by the massive presence of common people in BJP meetings and rallies. It is just a matter of time that this massive support will be converted to votes.
Tripura is the most peaceful state in the Northeastern region. Do you think it has lost its peace due to rising crimes in the State? Has Communist Party failed completely to eradicate Naxalites from the State in over two decades?
Tripura was peaceful till 1978 before the Communists entered the political scenario of the State. They tried to create distinct division between tribals and non-tribals for their political benefit which resulted in several riot-like situations till date. Terrorism in the State was always a sponsored game by the ruling regime. They decide when to keep terrorism in a dormant state and when to activate it. As election is nearing, they are gradually activating the terror mechanism to restrain the activities of BJP cadres.
How far would you agree that Tripura is a backward state?
Every available data points towards the fact that Tripura is backward in all aspects.
Do you agree that people of Tripura have become quite cynical about development which other states actually have seen? Is it easy for BJP to convince such people?
People of Tripura were cynical regarding development until Shri Narendra Modi took charge of the nation as prime minister. Now, they can dare to strive again towards their dreams and aspirations realizing that BJP is the alternative that can really bring the much-awaited change. People are convinced of future development as they witness the ’Act East Policy’ of the Central Government being implemented on the ground. People will vote for BJP this time for development in every field be it infrastructure, healthcare, industry or education.
How appropriate would it be to say that the upcoming Tripura Assembly election is Modi magic versus Manik mania?
Twenty-four years of anti-incumbency, anti-Manik Sarkar sentiment and, of course, Modi magic will play the vital role in overthrowing the communists from power.
According to you, what are the core factors which could unite the people of Tripura to vote against the incumbent government?
Issues like crime against women, future of seven lakhs registered and five lakhs unregistered unemployed youths, issue of State Government employees getting 4th pay commission whereas Central Government employees getting 7th pay commission, issue of biggest teacher recruitment scam of India which kept 10,323 youth’s future in uncertainty, systematic corruption from state to panchayat level administration and the hope for development under BJP government are the factors which will unite the voters to vote for BJP.
Around 30 percent of the vote share comprises of tribal. Do you think the Communist Party is going to get its biggest setback from tribal voters?
The CPI(M) has already lost the trust of the tribals. All the tribal regional parties are dead against CPI(M) and are interested to team up with BJP. Tribal parties like IPFT and INFT are new hurdles to CPI(M). The BJP Janajati Morcha has more penetration than ‘Gana Mukti Parishad’, the tribal front of CPI(M). The six BJP karyakartas murdered recently by the ruling party had four tribal among them which shows the vindictive attitude of the CPI(M) towards innocent tribals. Yes, youth would definitely unite to vote for the BJP’s development agenda this time as they did in Manipur election.
Opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress are getting decimated in the state. Do you think it will help BJP?
The leadership of all the major political parties merged into BJP leaving their party only signboard based. So, this time it is a direct fight between BJP and CPI(M). The BJP will emerge as the top alternative to the incumbent government.
How many seats do you think BJP will get out of 60 in the assembly polls?
If I go by public mood, it will be a clean sweep. People are going to support us.