Barely 12 hours after the assembly election was announced in Tripura, former arch rivals CPI(M) and Congress gathered to finalise a seat-sharing formula as their poll strategy.
“We needed to come together for the people of the state. There is literally no democracy in the state. We appeal to all democratic fronts to join us in our drive to democracy,” said Congress MLA Sudip Roy Burman from Agartala, who is a former BJP minister.
The CPI(M) and Congress recently announced that they will fight the Tripura elections together. The announcement was made after AICC general secretary Ajoy Kumar held a meeting with CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Choudhury. Left Front convener Narayan Kar was also present at the meeting at the CPI(M)’s state headquarters.
“We will do anything to uproot the undemocratic party BJP from the state,” said state Congress president Birajit Sinha and Choudhury. “It is a big alliance for the state in the political fraternity.”
“The BJP has unleashed a reign of terror and more in Tripura. Money and muscle power is being extensively used and intimidated voters are witness to this. This time we need to defeat this and, so, all democratic forces of the state should align,” Choudhury said.
The announcement is a major drift in the state’s political landscape as the Congress was the main opposition to the CPI(M)-led Left Front, which ruled the state for 25 years before being routed by the BJP in 2018. Roy Burman said there will be no party flag, only the Tricolour will be flown as a symbol of unity and brotherhood. Choudhury backed the demands of the Tipra Motha Dal but disagreed on the bifurcation of the state as it is geographically irrelevant.
The alliance is also in talks with Tipra Motha chairperson Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma. Pradyot Kishore has questioned the Election Commission of India on its assurance of a free and fair election in the state. In a tweet, he expressed his anguish on the rise in poll-related violence right after the poll dates were declared.
An incident of political violence was reported from Tripura’s Majlishpur constituency, following which the Congress alleged that 15 party workers and functionaries, including AICC general secretary Ajoy Kumar, were injured after a group of “BJP-backed goons” attacked them during a bike rally. Police, however, said the attacks were carried out by unknown miscreants in the West Tripura district, and “10 party workers were injured”.
The ECI has ordered a probe into the incident and asked the state’s chief electoral officer to get a report on the matter from the DGP through chief secretary. The report has to be submitted by 3 pm on Friday (January 20).
Another incident, that of the murder of a Tipra Motha worker, was also reported from the poll-bound state. The Tipra Motha Dal has accused the BJP of carrying out the act. Police said a Tipra Motha leader, identified as Pranajit Namasudra from the Surma assembly constituency, was returning home after a day’s work when he was attacked by unidentified miscreants. His car was first vandalised following which he was dragged out of the vehicle and fatally attacked on the head.
Read all the Latest Politics News here