first_img Steep climbIf the BJP gets to the majority mark of 31, it will be a huge jump from the 1.54% vote share it could manage in 2013.“Eating into our dedicated support base is easier said than done… the feedback from the people is that we will form the government again,” CPI(M) State secretary Bijan Dhar says.Pradyot Kishore Manikya of the erstwhile royal famly and Congress working president, feels the State has space for parties of the non-Left and the centre. Tripura has space for the non-Left and the non-right: Pradyot Kishore Manikya “We have also squeezed some space out of the Left Front. For instance, the sizeable number of government employees and their dependants unhappy with the archaic pay structure are with us. So are the tribal people, who have been a pillar of strength for the Communists until recently,” the BJP’s State unit spokesperson, Mrinal Kanti Deb, says.Twenty of the 60 seats are in areas under a tribal autonomous council, which is a communist bastion.The BJP’s hope of making inroads into them partly rides on an alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Twipra (IPFT), which wants a separate tribal State. The BJP, however, stands for “one Tripura”.The BJP — many of its candidates are imports from the Congress — is contesting 50 seats, leaving nine to the IPFT. The election in Charilam was deferred as the CPI(M) candidate died.center_img With the BJP trying hard to come to power in Tripura, campaigning for the February 18 Assembly election in the State has been intense. The last time such intense electioneering took place was in 1988, when the Congress formed a coalition government with the Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti.The Congress got a vote share of 37.33% then, but the Left Front, led by the CPI(M), had 45.82%.In the 2013 election, the Congress garnered a 36.38% share and 10 of the 60 seats. The Left Front won the rest.“We [the BJP] are expanding our base in Tripura every day and every minute, and we have occupied the non-Left space,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said during a campaign last week.last_img


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