TRIPURA ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2018: People Vow to Defeat Communal & Separatist Forces

Subrata Chakraborty & Haripada Das

THE country vests in the people of Tripura a historic role to establish the Left Front government in the state for an eighth term, thus heralding a real alternative to the BJP or the Congress which are two sides of the same coin. This was the clarion call Left Front leaders gave while addressing a mammoth rally at Vivekananda Maidan in Agartala on December 31. They exposed the evil moves of the BJP/RSS which, posing as self-proclaimed upholders of patriotism, are ultimately trying to break into pieces the unity and integrity of the country. Under this perspective, the leaders gave the call to the people of Tripura to establish a Left Front government in the state to further a Left alternative which alone can force the political dispensation at the centre to alter its policies in favour of the masses. Assembly election in Tripura is due in February.

The rally was presided over by Tripura Left Front convener Khagen Das. The speakers were: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar, CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharjee, Forward Bloc leader Naren Chatterjee, and CPI(M) Central Committee members Aghore Debbarma and Rama Das.

Addressing the rally, Yechury said the people of Tripura will foil destabilising moves of the RSS-BJP against peace and progress. He voiced his pride in the fact that, in human development index this Left-ruled state fared better than the national average. He also expressed his chagrin at the BJP for its anti-national attempt to dislodge the Left Front government so as to halt its exemplary pro-people programmes and cohesive impact on unity and integrity. The RSS/BJP’s tall talk on patriotism is a sham, a veneer for its communal agenda, to conceal its conspiracy to create a unipolar India by eradicating the Red Flag, the staunchest enemy of the people’s enemies, he remarked. That is why the people of Tripura are to send the message countrywide that the country needs a proper policy and principle and not just a fascinating personality who bluffs the people with golden promises of bright future for the country, Yechury exhorted. After capturing Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur seemingly invincible white horse of the BJP is out to take Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya in its strides by means of its money and muscle power. But the BJP’s winning run is sure to be scuttled by the unity of the toiling masses of Tripura symbolised by the sickle and hammer, Yechury said.  He referred to the countrywide depredations on the common people perpetrated by the pro-corporate and corrupt measures such as demonetisation and GST. The BJP knows very well that such a politics of plundering can be resisted only by a Left alternative, and that is why the Red Flag is its main target of attack. Yechury voiced his confidence that lakhs of revolutionary people of Tripura will give the most befitting reply to the ongoing misadventure of the RSS/BJP in the state along with tearing the secular fabric of the country by setting some private armies on the minorities and dalits, and by saffronising almost all the democratic institutions of the country. It is the Red Flag in Tripura that will send its first positive message countrywide, he said.

Addressing the rally, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar reminded the people of several conspiracies the political vested interests have carried out from time to time ever since the formation of the first Left Front government in Tripura 40 years ago. He referred to the June 1980 ethnic flare-up ignited by the TUJS, then an ally of the ruling Congress in the nineties, decade long onslaughts of the outlawed armed insurgents with the slogan of ‘Swadhin Tripura’ and deportation of all Bengalis, the secret deal between the then prime minister and TNV chief for dislodging the elected Left Front government, and ultimately, falsification of the election in the counting hall to forcefully grab power in 1988. Sarkar also mentioned how IPFT won TTAADC by making the election a mockery in 2000, followed by siphoning off crores of rupees of the autonomous council for nourishment of the insurgents. The ceaseless ideological campaign among the tribals of Tripura, the worst sufferers of extremist atrocities, as well as the ceaseless developmental measures of the Left Front government and its strong administrative measures with the cooperation of the people, police and para-military forces, it was possible to restore the ADC to its traditionally progressive path in the 2005 polls. In fact, the politically conscious people of Tripura have been fighting the reactionary forces and defeating the enemies of peace and progress in Tripura over the years, resulting in the ongoing development projects in the state.

The upcoming assembly election in Tripura is once again fraught with the renewed conspiracy of the rulers at the centre with the outlawed extremist outfit’s political wing IPFT(NC) altering its slogan for ‘Independent Tripura’ with the slogan for a ‘Separate Twipra State’, preposterously carved out of the ADC areas of tiny Tripura. The real aim is, however, to mislead the people of Tripura into breaking its unity and integrity, and thereby dislodging the Left Front government. Sarkar referred to the series of destabilising moves of the BJP and its hunting cock here, the IPFT(NC), as parts of their plots to undermine the law and order situation in the state, dually aimed at antagonising the peace-loving people of the state to the Left Front government and at paving the path for President’s Rule here. He said that while the union home minister himself had been parleying with the outlawed extremist outfit’s over-ground wing IPFT(NC) on the issue of a separate state, the BJP’s planted miscreants have been breaking idols of Hindu deities in the Hindu-Muslim mixed populated pockets of the state. The depth of the conspiracy can be gauged also by the prolong economic blockade imposed on the state’s Left Front government by the centre.

According to Sarkar, instead of the Gujarat model, touted by the BJP for a long time, or the earlier Congress model, it is the Left alternative model forwarded by the earlier West Bengal Left Front government, and now by the Left Democratic Front government at Kerala as well as the Left Front government in Tripura, that can provide to the people of the country a better dispensation. In concluding his deliberation, Sarkar cautioned the people not to be complacent on seeing such a huge gathering. He said that a good section of the people are still clinging to the wrong camp. They should not be ignored. We must approach them again and again. Persuade them with logic and reasons. Maintain lively contact with all individuals you know, irrespective of your friend and foe. In this way even if a handful of them could be won over, that will be your achievement, he told the gathering.  

CPI leader D Raja highlighted the hateful social situation prevailing in various BJP-ruled states that posed a real threat to our national unity and integrity. In this national perspective, a Left Front victory in Tripura election would be a ray of hope, he said.   

RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharjee said the BJP has failed to keep the promises  it made to the people during election and termed it as “Bharatiya Jumla Party’. In Tripura also, its leaders may promise to bring down heaven on the land only to do opposite after the election. He urged the people not to get swayed by their false promises.

Forward Bloc’s West Bengal state secretary Naren Chatterjee explained how the BJP is dividing the people on religious lines only to weaken the united movements of the masses against plight of farmers, workers and agricultural workers.  

CPI(M) Central Committee member Aghore Debbarma exposed the complicity of the BJP leaders in pushing forward the parochial demand of a separate ‘Twipraland state’ aiming to break the age-old harmony between tribals and non-tribals in the state. He also described the socio-economic status of the tribals in Tripura which is better than the national average in all parameters.

CPI(M) Central Committee member Rama Das ridiculed the Congress MLAs who switched to the TMC and then BJP as ‘jumping frogs’. She said that Tripura is unique state in respect of protection of dignity and rights of women. Out of about four lakh people getting government pension under 33 pension schemes in the state, 60 per cent were women. One third of seats in all the local bodies are reserved for women.

Khagen Das advised the cadre to continue their work until the victory and formation of the eighth Left Front government.


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