BJP all sets to win Tripura again

Tripura Election

After achieving a historic electoral victory in 2018 against the backdrop of 25 years of CPI(M) rule, the BJP is all set to win Tripura again. Our field research in all 60 parliamentary constituencies revealed six trends on the ground that showed the decisive advantage of the saffron party over the opposition parties.

First, contrary to the popular assumption that the election will be triangular, the state is witnessing a two-party contest between BJP and Tipra Motha, a tribal party led by king Pradyot Manikya Deb Barma, eliminating the CPM-Congress alliance. a frustrating third.

Second, to oppose the old party tendency. Based on electoral support, electoral choices are mainly based on ethnic boundaries between tribals and Bengalis. With STs firmly entrenched behind Tipra Motha, BJP is the default choice for most Bengali voters. Moreover, the transformation of ethnic division into electoral choices does not affect BJP's comfortable position. A total of 20 seats out of 60 constituencies are reserved for tribals, though only 13 seats have an ST majority. So, apart from the 20 general seats, the BJP is also a serious contender for the remaining 7 seats.

Thirdly, the much talked about alliance between the two old rival parties of the state, the CPI(M) and the Congress, is not only unwelcome. - started from the state, but is quite alien to the Congress electorate, which allegedly suffered disproportionate violence and atrocities during the less than 25 years of Left rule from 1993-2018. Our survey showed that Congress voters have shifted to BJP. In short, the CPI(M)-Congress Alliance/Jot is rallying around leaders without touching the relevant electorate. There is no chemistry in the mathematics of the opposition alliance. Four, the main opposition party, the CPI(M) is witnessing an existential crisis as the party's number of seats is likely to decline colossally due to ageing. leadership, losing the entire tribal support base and gaining little resonance with the Bengali electorate.

This leaves only Muslims, who form nearly 8 percent of the state's population, as likely voters for the Left, who consider the BJP a discriminatory and Tipra Motha tribal party. Thus, the CPI(M) can win seats like Sipahijala area in Boxanagar constituency where Bengali Muslims are in majority in the elections. Fifth, the perennial tribal issue of Tripura took center stage in the elections. The STs, who became a demographic minority in the state after its merger with India in 1949, demanded a separate state, a cause represented by various tribal levels and leaders at different stages. This time, however, there was a change in the nature and strength of the demand. Now, the main proponent of the tribal issue is led by Tipra Motha in the form of the demand for Greater Tipramaa, where the royal descendant of Tripura, King Pradyot Manikya Deb Barma, raised the issue himself. This marks a change in the nature of the tribal issue, where the king leads from the front, leading to massive unity among STs across the state. On the plus side, unlike the terrible tribal leader of the past, Pradyot Manikya's approach was one of non-agitation. Although behind Tipra Motha there is almost a consolidation between different tribes, this time there is no ethnic violence.

Finally, reception of the BJP varies among different tribal communities as well as among the Bengali electorate. Although the STs behind Tipra Motha are almost consolidating, they are generally not hostile to the ruling party. Their support for the tribal party is more due to their relationship with King Pradyot Maikya and his demand for THANSA, which means unity among various tribal groups and factions. While the THANSA concept is working on the ground, the BJP is enjoying the goodwill of the tribals without their electoral support. In fact, some Buddhist ST groups like Chakma and Mogs, who are numerically weak, may end up voting for the ruling party. Also, unlike 2018, there is not much enthusiasm for the saffron party among Bengali voters.

However, they decided to support the current ruler when they observed a significant change in the political culture of the country during the Left rule when all arenas of people's lives were under the gaze and control of the CPI (M) with no room for dissent. discrimination party lines Currently, despite complaints about unfulfilled promises of materials and the arrogance of some local BJP leaders, they prefer the government much better than the Left, which did not force people to participate in a non-stop political procession (Michil) and the payment of political donations (chanda)¬ – for which the left-wing administration was infamous. Along with that, Modi's popularity is huge, that's why the vast majority of Bengalis vote for the saffron party despite the complaints. So, the BJP is all set to win the election comfortably on its own.

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