Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018 | Last Update : 04:56 PM IST
The BJP is contesting 51 out of the 60 Assembly seats, while its ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), is fighting on nine seats.
Mohanpur (Tripura): BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday accused the Left cadres of pocketing public funds meant for development and asked people to oust Tripura’s “Lal bhai” government.
Mr Shah, who led an eight-kilometre road show and addressed rallies, he sought votes for the state’s “transformation”. He promised to make Tripura a model state if his party is voted to power.
The BJP is contesting 51 out of the 60 Assembly seats, while its ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), is fighting on nine seats. Polling is scheduled to be held next Sunday, and counting is due on March 3.
The BJP is being seen as putting up a strong challenge to the 25-year-old uninterrupted Left reign in the state with a host of promises to the people, including smart phones for youths, implementation of the seventh pay commission for government employees from the next day of the party being voted to power and action against chit fund scam accused.
Without naming Rahul Gandhi, Mr Shah alleged that the Congress chief had put up candidates as “vote-katva” (cutting into others’ votes) to help the CPI(M) government headed by chief minister Manik Sarkar to come back to power.
The Congress was the main Opposition party until the last Assembly polls but has seen a serious depletion in its ranks with many of its leaders, including MLAs, joining the BJP.
“The government of ‘Lal bhai’ and its cadres have looted Tripura for 25 years in the name of development... A BJP government is bound to come. It won’t be merely a change of MLAs or government but will usher in its transformation,” Mr Shah said at a rally.
The Left government, he said, was made in the name of the poor but poverty increased in its 25 years of rule and the number of unemployed youths rose to 7.33 lakh from 25,000 during the period.
A BJP government will give employment to every household, Mr Shah said.
Taking on Mr Sarkar for his charge that that the Centre had not done much for the state’s development, the BJP chief reeled out the names of a number of central schemes and noted that it had released Rs 25,396 crore to Tripura under the 14th finance commission against Rs 7,283 crore it had got under the 13th finance commission.
Raising the party’s slogan, “Chalo Paltai” (Let’s change the government), Mr Shah said, “Where has all this extra RS 18,000 crore gone? It has gone into pockets of Communist cadres. I dare Sarkar to give an account of this money in his public meeting.”
He also accused the Left parties of spreading rumours that the state would be divided if the BJP comes to power and asserted that there would no division and Tripura would remain as it is.
IPFT, which represents sections of tribals, had earlier raised the demand of a separate state but has not pushed for it following its alliance with the BJP, which is opposed to any division of Tripura.
Mr Shah said a BJP government would protect and promote the cultural heritage and values of tribals.
Touching on cultural issues, Mr Shah said the Left government celebrates birth anniversaries of Lenin and Stalin but not of Vivekananda, Tagore and a revered king of the state. The Left has been finished off in the world and the Congress is fading away in the country, he claimed.
At another rally in Chawmanu, Mr Shah accused the Left government of practising politics of violence and said a BJP government will end this and usher an era of development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ushered in an era of development and the state should invest in his leadership, he said.