May 02, 2021

Tripura: On TTAADC Election outcome

Haripada Das

TRIPURA Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council election was held on April 6, and counting of the election was held on April 10th.  Out of 28 seats, the newly emerged TIPRA (Tripura Indigenous Progressive Regional alliance) led by the grandson of the last king of the state, Pradyot Kishore Debbarman bagged 18 seats securing an absolute majority, ruling BJP won 9 and one independent supported by BJP won one seat. IPFT, junior partner of the BJP-led alliance and one of the main stakeholders in the TTADC scored zero.  Since the formation of the ADC first under the 7th schedule of the Constitution in 1980 and subsequently under 6th schedule in 1984, for the first time, CPI(M) has no representation in the TTAADC. The tribal council is a product of a prolonged unyielding and glorious battle of the CPI(M) frustrating tooth and nail opposition of all vested interests.

On April 25-26, CPI(M) Tripura state committee in its virtual meeting  made a threadbare discussion on the dismal result of the Left Front in TTAADC election in Tripura. The next day on April 27th, CPI(M) state committee  in a statement elaborately reviewed the   election outcome in the following:

The statement reads, the election to the TTAADC was held in a fascistic terror atmosphere that was set in by the ruling party miscreants immediately after this BJP-IPFT alliance was seated to power in March 2018. 

During this regime, as all the earlier elections were reduced to complete mockery of democracy by resorting to lethal attacks on the opposition candidates to prevent them from filing nomination, violent prevention of the opposition to carry on their campaign, intimidation of voters, booth capturing, and even rigging in counting halls. Even in the just concluded TTAADC election the ruling parties hatched up same plots to capture ADC council by hook or by crook.

But it was revealed that, in this election, though there was a desperate drive of the ruling party miscreants to resort to violent attacks in several constituencies, simultaneously, the electors were seen to have adamant zeal to exercise their constitutional and democratic right to vote defying all such violent attacks.

CPI(M), Left Front, and its candidates appealed to the electors to cast vote by themselves, and distributed a leaflet urging to support the Left Front candidates going door to door. This could not be possible everywhere due to terror and attacks. Similarly, CPI(M) held many indoor and open election rallies wherever possible.

The issues the CPI(M) and the Left Front leaders highlighted in the campaign were of people’s urgent crisis relating to life and livelihoods, misrule of the BJP-IPFT alliance government during the last three years and one after other anti-people measures adopted by the government.  These include serious crisis of food and works in the TTAADC areas resulting in poverty, half-feeding, starvation, unleashing fascistic attacks on the opposition, assault on democracy and the constitution, denying rule of law, refusing to implement the pledges that have been made by them in their election manifesto in 2018, and on the contrary imposing financial burden on the common people including peasants and workers both by the state and central governments. 

On the other hand, CPI(M) and Left Front leaders prominently propagated the achievements in uplifting the tribal people’s condition economic and cultural by former Left Front government and the outgoing TTAADC Council  amidst stringent financial limitation and non-cooperation of the central and state governments. They pointed out that the developments that are sighted in the tribal areas at present were implemented by none other than the Left Front government and the Left Front Council in the TTAADC.   They also assertively propagated that, as only the Left Front can claim credit for the formation of this TTAADC, no other party can stand as a champion of preserving the interest and wellbeing of tribal people of the state.  No other party was heard to propagate the urgent issue of the people of the hills in this election.

In the election result, it has been revealed that the mandate is the reflection of the people’s rage against misrule, rampant corruption, anti-people activities, and the fascistic attacks on the opposition and democracy. Though the Left Front was very much vocal against all the anti-people measures of the BJP-IPFT alliance, TIPRA-Motha begged benefit of the anti-incumbency. Left Front failed to garner success due to its organisational dislocation.  The slogan of ‘Greater Tipraland’ though absurd and unfeasible, swayed some voters with emotion. In many booths, manipulation and rigging were committed, the Left Front polling agents were driven out from the booths, in some areas, the voters were prevented from approaching the polling stations. In some constituencies, both BJP and TPRA-Motha resorted to the exorbitant spreading of money.

The CPI(M) statement assured that, it would carry forward the ideological and political struggles against the evil drive of the vested interests to create enmity and division among the people of the state and  to strengthen the democratic unity of the tribal and non-tribal people. At the same time, the Party will certainly take continuous endeavor to revamp and expand the organisation in future.