Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Neither development plank nor PM’s popularity, here are 5 reasons that helped BJP win Tripura Assembly elections

BJP’s use of money power, false hyperbolic promises backed by the huge reservoir of resources of the central government helps it win elections in every state.
 Raj Rishi

BJP won Tripura not because of much touted ‘development’ across India or Modi-Shah’s jumlebaazi, but because of anti-incumbency vote against 25 years of CPM government out of which Manik Sarkar was the chief minister for 20 years having taken  over the reins of power in Tripua in 1998. He  is one of the longest-serving state chiefs in the country.

A little about Manik Sarkkar

Manik Sarkar is known as the poorest chief minister in India. CPM  owes its long rule of Manipur due primarily to the impeccable honesty and sobriety of  Manik Sarkar whose simple personality shined in the green landscape.

 According to Amit Sengupta of  Daily O,Sarkar gave away his entire salary to the party, lived on Rs 2,000 plus per month given by the party, with a tiffin of puffed rice, apparently his favourite, had a bank balance of less than Rs 2,000, just a fraction of a little land on the outskirts of capital Agartala shared with his sister, no car, no property, no email account, not even a mobile.



His wife, Panchali Bhattacharya, a retired government official, travelled on rickshaw and public transport, and was as stoic and classical a communist as her husband.
According to the affidavit, the 64-year-old politician inherited a house measuring just 432 square feet with a tin-shed structure from his mother Anjali Sarkar.

Its present market value is just Rs. 2,20,000.

Like other party members, Mr. Sarkar donates his full salary and subsidiary allowances to the party and instead the party pays him Rs. 5,000 a month as subsistence allowance.
During the filing of the affidavit, the Chief Minister’s monthly salary was Rs. 9,200 which, perhaps, was the lowest in the country.

Even as the Left ceded power to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura after 25 years, voters in the Dhanpur constituency have convincingly sent their four-time legislator Manik Sarkar to the state Assembly yet again. 

Here are 5 reasons for BJP’s victory in Tripura, which have nothing to do with the widely tom-tomed charisma of Mr. Modi or the so-called development of the country

1. Anti-incumbency factor

Clichéd as it may appear, people tend to get bored even with the best of daily dishes and think of change even it that might prove risky. And then, even the best of administrators make mistakes of judgement and earn the annoyance of the electorate. The CPM chief minister,despite being extremely selfless and honest, could not get rid of his party ideology and policies in running the state.

As Shekhar Dutta, a senior journalist, writing  in New Indian Express  confirms, “The domineering presence of CPM in Tripura  is a classic example of the state’s conversion into a party-society in which nothing is beyond the purview of the political gaze. Even mundane things are deeply linked to political affiliations and loyalties.”

“From our field visits to all parts of Tripura during Sept-Oct 2017, Jan 2018 and Feb 2018, we found that entrenched political divisions inform the everyday lives of the people. There was hardly any village that did not have a narrative of people being discriminated or rewarded in matters of allotment of monthly rations or allocation of works under MNREGA, etc, on the basis of their political loyalties.

 Every village was politically divided into pro- and anti-CPM camps. If the CPM was seen as a saviour by the former, it was a demon to the latter. Therefore, one has witnessed in recent months several violent intra-tribal clashes based on loyalties to the anti-CPM Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the CPM’s Tripura Upajati Gan Mukti Parishad (TUGMP).

2. BJP’s money power and jumlebaazi

BJP’s use of money power, false hyperbolic promises backed by the huge reservoir of resources of the central government helps it win elections in every state.

This was how the BJP has been winning elections in the country starting with the national election of 2014 and is continuing with the subsequent state elections. It has been generously aided by the crony masters if its leaders both by bagfuls of cash and propaganda machinery in form of media. And now that it is in power in the centre, there is no shortage of powerful resources, for example financial grants, at its command with which it arm-twists the   opposition governments and favour its party regimes.

As Economic Times quotes   CPM leader Sitaram Yechury saying : “BJP used money, muscle power to win Tripura. This has happened because the BJP has unscrupulously utilised huge amounts of money power and muscle power and managed to successfully bring together all anti-Left elements and parties including, the erstwhile opposition parties together into one anti-Left platform. They succeeded as a result of that," he said as the election results came in. 

Yechury warned the people of Tripura that there would be unfavourable ramifications due to the use of money in elections. "BJP brought together all kinds of forces using money power without attaching any morality to it. There will be results due to this for which people need to be alert," he said. 





And “ it surely ‘pays’ to be in power at the Centre”, tweets senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai:


With just 2 MLAs, BJP has managed to stitch together a govt in a 60 member assembly; after Goa and Manipur, Meghalaya now 3rd state where single largest party loses out. It sure 'pays' to be in power at Centre!

त्रिपुरा में ….पाँच साल पहले ज़मानत ज़ब्त कराने वाली बीजेपी ने पचीस साल वाले माणिक सरकार को बेदख़ल किया है। …राजनीतिक दल के रूप में भाजपा ने अप्रत्याशित विस्तार किया है। दूसरी तरफ का मैदान ख़ाली है।

फिर भी मीडिया का कहना है कि ईस्ट में मोदी वेव की वजह से क़ब्ज़ा हुआ है। आपको बता दें साल 2013 के चुनाव में भारतीय जनता पार्टी की तरफ से त्रिपुरा में 50 उम्मीदवार उतरे थे और उन 50 में से 49 की ज़मानत भी ज़ब्त हो गई थी। उस चुनाव में बीजेपी को केवल 1.87 प्रतिशत वोट मिले थे और एक भी सीट पर क़ब्ज़ा करने में कामियाब नही हुई थी।

3. RSS role


RSS has been doing the ground work inTripura for quite some time.

As reported in Hindustan Times,  “In December last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat visited Tripura to take stock of the organization. He followed it by addressing one of the biggest congregations at Guwahati in January. RSS functionaries claim over 5,000 cadre in uniform attended the congregation, which signalled the rise of the Sangh.

RSS functionaries from the region said at the heart of the Sangh’s work is an attempt to address the “neglect” of the people by previous governments at the Centre.

“The Sangh has been active in the region, providing education to the children of tribes that have been neglected. Our work is not political, but the issues that we address are also raised by the BJP, so there is convergence of thought,” said a senior functionary of the Sangh, requesting anonymity.

 RSS effectively  highlighted  ‘inadequacies’ of the CPM regime

Sunil Deodhar, a former RSS pracharak and now the in charge of the BJP unit in the state said the despite the “negative campaign” against the RSS by the communists, the Sangh highlighted the inadequacies of the administration.

What is significant in Tripura, as in West Bengal, is that there is an eternal and incipient communal current in the mainstream Bengali population.

The chanting of "Jai Sri Ram", communal polarisation, and the rise of Hindutva was marked since 2014 in Tripura when the RSS took over the shakhas and injected new dynamism to its politics in the border - with the eternal phobia of the Bangladeshi Muslim factor being played to the hilt. 

“They ( RSS) did not campaign for the BJP, but people saw the work Sangh does and were encouraged to join. From a mere 50-60 Shakhas (local units), the number has gone up to 250 now,” he said.

The Sangh’s expansion in the state, he said, has helped the BJP to the extent that people were willing to consider it as an option.

“Earlier people were scared to stand up against the CPI-M, the Congress was missing as an opposition, people saw the BJP as an alternative,” he said.

The chanting of "Jai Sri Ram", communal polarisation, and the rise of Hindutva was marked since 2014 in Tripura when the RSS took over the shakhas and injected new dynamism to its politics in the border - with the eternal phobia of the Bangladeshi Muslim factor being played to the hilt. 


4. Congress’s slothfulness

Congress party is still living in its history when the top ranking Congress leaders made symbolic visits to the states and the party  won elections.

The Congress in-charge of Tripura, CP Joshi, reportedly, visited it only once, while Rahul Gandhi displayed little interest. Most elected representatives of these parties went over to the BJP, so that many seem to have only voted for the old Congress in a new saffron avatar. Almost the entire Congress voter base has gone over to the BJP.

It may be noted that out of the 285 seats won by the BJP in 2014, 110 belonged to Congress defectors to its fold. This was BJP’s first step to make India “Congress mukt Bharat”. How easy? When you cannot win them, woo then to join you. Stoop to conquer!

And the Congressmen brought with them all the tricks of winning elections learnt over decades of their rule in India. A recent example is Himanta Biswa Sarma ,  currently the kingmaker of  the  BJP.



“A former Congressman, the 48-year-old Assam minister crossed over to BJP in 2015 a few months before the state went to the polls. 

The North-East Democratic Alliance (Neda) — formed with the objective of creating a “Congress-mukt north-east” — was the first step towards BJP’s expansion goal. Sarma is its convener and has been responsible for arriving at the understandings that have favoured BJP’s growth. He made a mark as kingmaker in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and, now, Tripura. 

Sarma’s modus operandi is clear — break the rival and win its key leaders over to BJP. Like him, Manipur CM Biren Singh and Arunachal Pradesh’s Pema Khandu were Congress leaders before. “The influence of BJP was quite limited in the north-east. Unless new people joined, it couldn’t have grown in strength,” he said

44 out of 59 BJP candidates in Tripura election are ex-Congressmen

लोगो के जहन में सबसे बड़ा सवाल है कि कैसे बीजेपी ने त्रिपुरा में इतनी बड़ी जीत हांसिल की आपको बता  दे कि इंडियन एक्सप्रेस में छपी खबर के मुताबिक बीजेपी ने चुनावो से पहले बीजेपी ने 44 उम्मीदवार खरीद लिए .59 में से 44 पूर्व कांग्रेस्सियो को बीजेपी की टिकट पर चुनाव लड़ाया, तो क्या ये मान लिया जाये की देश कांग्रेस मुक्त नही बीजेपी कांग्रेस युक्त हो रही है: AAP News Daily


From UPA 1 in 2004, the 60 united Left numbers in the Lok Sabha have been reduced to about 10 in the current Lok Sabha. The CPM has been finished in Bengal, defeated decisively in Tripura.

While the Karat versus Sitaram Yechury line plays out in full glare, the fall and fall of the Left in contemporary India is as transparent as the old Marxist prophecy: history repeats itself, first as a farce, then, as tragedy, and a nightmare.


 BJP on the slide  in its strongholds as its development plank and jumlebaazi is failing to work

A few points need to be considered here. If the Tripura elections are a trend-setter, then what about other recent elections?

In the Rajasthan by-elections, two Lok Sabha seats and one assembly seat were up for contest. In Alwar, a 2.8 lakh vote victory in 2014 became a 1.5 lakh vote defeat for the BJP. Alwar borders Haryana, a BJP state. In Ajmer, a 1.7 lakh vote advantage in 2014 became a 85,000 vote defeat. In an assembly seat that borders Madhya Pradesh, the BJP lost badly.

One can add Chhattisgarh to this swathe of contiguous states. Together, these four states have 75 seats. In 2014, the BJP won 71 of these. Extrapolating from the by-elections and other trends, quantitative and qualitative, one can safely conclude that the BJP is going to lose at least 50 of these 71 seats.

Now move to the east and south. In Odisha, the recent by-election saw a thumping victory for the BJD. The Congress vote collapsed in a seat the Congress had won in 2014. But the beneficiary was not the BJP - it was the BJD. People are looking for third-party (non-Congress, non-BJP) options, where these are available and viable.(NDTV)



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