HomeOpinionTripura Election 2018: Political Strategies, Tribal Votes, and the Rise of BJP

Tripura Election 2018: Political Strategies, Tribal Votes, and the Rise of BJP

Unveiling Political Tactics, Tribal Dynamics, and BJP's Ascendancy in Tripura's 2018 Electoral Saga

For the people of Tripura, the 2018 elections are a time of reckoning. Thinking back to my pre-election talks with political people, I had expressed fear that the Congress may lose its standing in the state if it was unable to make substantial progress in Tripura at that time. Although this was a theoretical worry at the time, what happened in the years preceding 2017 has made it a sobering reality.

During the 2007 political journey before the 2008 elections, I went to a small electoral meeting where I discovered a basic flaw with Tripura’s opposition leaders: they were unable to adequately explain the problems of the people. The general public was unimpressed with mere rhetoric that did not address the fundamental problems. It became clear that a leader could not gain the trust of the people and become their genuine representative unless they comprehended and addressed their issues in a reasonable and approachable way. Regretfully, the Congress and its representatives did not appear to understand the seriousness of this basic issue.

As not a cadre-based political party, the Congress’s prospects were further hampered by its inability to develop a robust cadre-based political network similar to the CPM. Its partnership in national politics with the CPM also had a part in its declining power. Unlike the Congress, the BJP did not write off Tripura as a lost cause when it first came to power in 2014. Sunil Deodhar was deployed by the BJP deliberately to manage its operations in Tripura, and his presence and work over the last four years demonstrate how much the BJP values Tripura.

Tripura’s political climate has been turbulent. The story of Congress’s 1993 setback, in which the government fell due to horse-trading and defections, set the stage for the rise of communist power, propelled by the clever political scheming of figures such as Vimal Sinha. On the other hand, the BJP and Sunil Deodhar have been making progress and are now posing a threat to the established leftist narrative.

Every vote matters, as evidenced by the 2013 election figures, in which winning or losing constituencies with 22 legislative members was frequently decided by a margin as narrow as 200 votes. Thus, it is incorrect to say that Tripura is a stronghold of leftist politics. Substantial anti-leftist votes suggest a possibility for a range of political affiliations, even in states where leftist and central politics are predominant.

Over the previous four years, Sunil Deodhar’s meticulous approach has produced benefits. He has progressively gained support, even from historically left-leaning segments of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. Their progressive move in the direction of the BJP represents a major realignment in politics.

Unemployment, women’s safety, and the disregard for minorities in religion and culture have been ongoing sources of discontent. There is a noticeable sense of dissatisfaction among government workers regarding the difference in commissions between their salaries and those in other states. The gap between the party and the people has only gotten wider as a result of the Congress’s inability to resolve these problems.

The BJP’s admission has been made possible by the threat of left-wing politicians acting arbitrarily, particularly towards the Bishnupriya Manipuri group, even if they previously received 75% of their votes because to Bimal Sinha’s political savvy.

Amidst the complex tapestry of politics in Tripura, one facet that has captured my interest in recent months is the dynamics of campaigns. Congress appears to have forgotten the importance of tribal votes over the years, a crucial voting bloc. As a result, CPIM has regularly included tribal votes in their electoral computations, frequently starting their seat count at 21. They even founded a special organisation named Upajati Gana Parisad to pursue this tactic. Congress, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any kind of game plan for involving and protecting their tribal vote base.

But against this background, the BJP rose to power, launching their campaign from the highlands and using a number of religious institutions. This calculated move posed a serious threat to CPIM’s hegemony. If implemented well, it might redefine electoral maths, with the BJP perhaps starting the 2018 election with 21 seats. Such a calculated reorientation highlights the dynamic interaction of competing political forces in Tripura’s electoral landscape.

The BJP has established itself as a competitive alternative to the left because to its ability to win over support from a wide range of social groups and its practical approach to governing. The progressive disenchantment of conventional leftists and the public’s inclination to voice their disagreements are encouraging signs for the BJP’s chances in 2018.

In summary, the decisions made by the people of Tripura will determine its future. Tripura may see a shift in 2018 if the BJP can bring together diverse voices under its banner, maintain electoral integrity, and give voters the courage to express their thoughts without fear.

Debasish Sinhahttps://www.debasishsinha.in/
Entrepreneur| Business Consultant | Blogger | CEO & MD of @Insysd | Founder of @InsysdNet | RTs do not imply endorsement | Email: contact@debasishsinha.in
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