BJP president, Amit Shah, has declared that the BJP would oust the Left Front government in Tripura in the assembly elections to be held early next year. He has also gone on to claim that the Leftists would be uprooted from the state.
To fulfill his desire, the BJP and the RSS have been working overtime to create conditions of violence and confrontation in the state. Just days before Amit Shah’s visit to Tripura, BJP goons launched a series of attacks on CPI(M) workers. They attacked the houses of the secretary of the Dukli sub-division committee of the Party by throwing bombs and ransacking it. They also injured the SFI state committee secretary. There were attacks on CPI(M) workers in Kamalpur sub-division on the same night in which ten Party workers were injured. This was followed by an attack two days later on CPI(M) workers in Salema in the same sub-division. Such attacks were designed to provide the pretext for Amit Shah to accuse the CPI(M) of attacking BJP workers and spreading terror.
After the victory of the BJP in the Assam election last year and the formation of BJP-led government in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in the North-East, the RSS-BJP combine has now targeted Tripura and the Left Front government. They have been emboldened to do so by the erosion in the ranks of the Congress and the TMC who have shifted to the BJP. With the help of the RSS, the BJP is hoping to consolidate all the anti-communist forces in Tripura.
However, unlike in the other North Eastern states, the BJP is faced with a CPI(M) which has a strong and deep rooted base among the people. It has to take on a Left Front which has an excellent record of service to the people and which represents the unity of the tribal and non-tribal people of the state.
Faced with this daunting task, the RSS and its various front organisations have been actively working to propagate the Hindutva agenda. BJP and the RSS workers are spending huge amounts of money and spreading disinformation about the Left Front government.
The BJP is following in the footsteps of the Congress opposition of earlier days by seeking to rope in the tribal extremist parties, the IPFT and the INPT. The RSS weekly “Organiser” has commended this step to mobilsie the tribal extremist forces. It may be recalled that the IPFT has been the political wing of the extremist outfit which had called for an “independent Tripura”. They have now modified it to demand a separate state carved out of the existing tribal autonomous district council area. This shows that the BJP is willing to disrupt the hard earned unity of the tribal and non-tribal people for fulfilling its narrow political agenda.
The other weapon that the BJP has deployed is a slander campaign against the Left Front government and the chief minister, Manik Sarkar. Central ministers are visiting Tripura and accusing the state government of non-submission of project implementation reports and utilisation reports. If Amit Shah has to be believed there has been zero development in the last 25 years under Left Front rule in Tripura. They have accused the chief minister and the CPI(M) leaders of being involved in chit fund scandals. Amit Shah challenged the chief minister to hand over the chit fund cases to the CBI to prove his honesty.
Along with this slander campaign, the BJP central government has taken steps to hamper the implementation of welfare schemes by the state government. The central government has drastically cut the funds for MNREGA scheme in Tripura to the tune of 50 percent. Tripura had stood first in the country for four years consecutively with the provision of 88 workdays under the rural employment scheme. Now this is sought to be crippled.
The BJP is living in a fool’s paradise, if it believes it can tarnish the image of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. Immediately after the exposure of the chit fund scams – Saradha, Rose Valley and others – the chief minister had written to the union government asking for a CBI enquiry in all chit fund related cases. The CBI is investigating five cases out of the total 37. The rest 32 cases are being investigated by a Special Task Force under the supervision of the Tripura High Court.
Given the exemplary record of the Left Front government, this campaign of lies and slander will not have any impact on the people. Tripura has the highest literacy rate in the country; the per capita income of the people of Tripura is the highest in the north eastern region; Tripura is on the top in the country in the implementation of the Forests Rights Act with 1.28 lakh tribal families getting joint pattas; Tripura has the best performance in the implementation of the MNREGA scheme. Tripura is amongst the top five states in the country in rural development.
As the seventh Tripura Left Front government heads towards completing its term in office, there is a high level of democratic consciousness among the people and a strong unity among different communities forged through decades of united struggles and common endeavour. The communal and reactionary designs of the BJP and the RSS will be firmly rebuffed by the people of Tripura.
(May 11, 2017)