After a landslide victory in Tripura Assembly elections, there seems to be no end to celebrations in the state. In tribal areas people take out impromptu rallies with women coming out in large numbers, reflecting the pent up anger against the Communists. In a remarkable performance, the BJP-IPFT alliance has swept all the 20 seats reserved for tribals. Many said the Communist terror had ended and hoped that “Modi will ensure development.” Some women had tears in their eyes.
Tribals were angry with the Communists because in the name of curbing insurgency, they had killed many tribal youths. “Our youths were caught and tortured. Many innocent youths are still missing, This is the first time that they got an opportunity to pay back in the same coin,” says a tribal NGO activist who doesn’t want to be named. He hails from Madhotila. He is happy that the “Communists are paid back in the same coin.”
According to a tribal activist from South Tripura, Vikas Debbarma, the Communists have turned Tripura into a graveyard. “For everything, you need to go to the party. There are no jobs, no schools or no health facilities. There is no electricity in our village. It’s good that the Communists are gone,” said Debbarma.
On Saturday, the BJP decimated the CPI(M) in Tripura, one of the last remaining Left bastions, ousting the party from power after 25 long years. The BJP and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, together won 43 out of 59 Tripura constituencies. The BJP on its own won 35 seats, four more than the half-way mark, while its ally IPFT won eight seats.
The BJP, which had no MLAs in the outgoing Assembly and polled just 1.5 percent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, secured over 42 percent of votes in the February 18, 2018, Tripura elections.