AGARTALA: Barely a year is left for the general elections in the 60 assembly constituencies but to be precise the poll bugle is already blown in the politically charged Tripura.
As many political analysts describe the next elections, by and large, is going to be a fight for the saffron camp to retain its hard-won citadel, the divided opposition is also regrouping with fresh political realignments getting played out in the open.
And, everyone believes sans an iota of doubt in their minds that the By-elections that are slated to take place in four assembly constituencies, probably, before the 2023 polls are set to play a decisive role in unfolding the new political equation taking shape in the sphere of Tripura politics.
According to top sources in the state government, the state government and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party want the Election Commission of India to declare By-polls in the vacated seats of Surma, Jubarajnagar, Agartala and Bardowali.
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Another assembly constituency—Shimna may also get added to the tally as IPFT MLA Brishaketu Debbarma’s disqualification procedures may get completed by next month.
On the other hand, the opposition camp is divided on the issue of holding the polls right now citing instances of violence and booth jamming in the Agartala Municipal Corporation elections. But, a section of CPIM leaders, however, also agree on the point that Assembly elections are conducted under stringent security arrangements and chances manipulation is less.
The Congress, on the other hand, is still trying to give its revival strategy a final shape as the grand old party is expecting a mass exodus of leaders who switched over to either BJP or the Trinamool Congress with Congress strong man Sudip Roy Barman and his confidante Asish Kumar Saha.
Their return to the party gave a new boost to the former main opposition party of the state. In addition, the fledgling TIPRA Motha that already gave clear signals of being the dominant force of the tribal areas is also a key player in the forthcoming Battle.
While speaking about the By-elections, BJP state President Dr Manik Saha said, “the ruling BJP is ready to take on any political challenge. The policies and programmes set by the party high command continue to be implemented on the ground and thus we don’t feel entry or exit of any individual shall deal in any impact on our organization. However, steps have been taken to strengthen the Mondol level organization. All the wings have been alerted to intensify their organizational activities ahead of the crucial by-elections”.
On being asked about BJP’s view on the By-elections, Saha said, “see whether BJP wants to hold the elections or does not make any impact. It is the prerogative of the Elections Commission of India and course once the polls are declared required steps will be undertaken”.
BJP State General Secretary Tinku Roy, one being contacted said, “BJP is a party where organizational activities are persistent. If polls are declared the needed organizational promptness would be taken in the due course of time”.
The CPIM party, on the other hand, said that polls should be conducted amid adequate security. Leaders like CPIM State Secretary Jitendra Chowdhry and Leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar publicly said that the experience with the previous polls was very bad.
The CPIM leaders claimed that the polls were turned into a farcical exercise and thus the Election Commission should first ensure that the polls were conducted amid tight security arrangements.
Reacting to the issue, Congress President Birajita Sinha said, “the number of assembly constituencies, where by-polls are needed to be conducted, may only rise in the days to come. And, Congress will get an extra edge over its arch-rival BJP”.