Tripura ADC polls to decide supremacy b/w BJP and CPI(M)

    04-Jan-2021   
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Agartala: The CPI-M, which lost power in their erstwhile forte Tripura in 2018, is now eyeing to regain hold
in the state of Tripura through elections in the 30-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
 
Hence comes all sorts of communists' inspired propaganda and campaign. Some may be with reasons but
most of them without any rhyme or reason.
 
A political party - that is the BJP - which has a pet-name of being an 'election machine' for its regular
success in electoral politics across India has been 'delaying' or allegedly shying off from an electoral battle in the northeastern state of Tripura --- goes a line.
 
The charge is obviously denied by the BJP as it comes from politically motivated quarters in the opposition CPI-M.
 
The tenure of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) was extended for another six months on Nov 17, 2020. In a statement, the CPI-M has alleged that the BJP-led government in the state is "not contemplating" to hold the elections to hand over the administrative charge to elected representatives "in near future".
 
The tenure of the TTAADC had expired on May 17, 2020 first but polls have been 'avoided' so far.
 
However, the political atmosphere is slowly gearing up for holding of these keenly awaited polls. Both the ruling
BJP and the opposition CPI-M are flexing their muscles and organising their respective political camps and organisations.
 
The issues are many. But the chief issue that is emerging in the scene from common people's
perspective is the development or the lack of it.
 
The saffron party grassroots level workers are telling the voters that for long the Council was under Left party
administration but the development works were not as expected and thus, naturally, the BJP is the 'viable alternative'.
 
However, there is another version as well. The CPI-M leaders are trying to make capital of their campaign
that the developmental works since 2018 have not been as 'satisfactory' under the Biplab Kumar Deb ministry
since 2018.
 
"There is utter chaos in the state administration with multiple rival camps within BJP working in different directions.
 
These have affected law and order situation as well and developmental works have suffered in the
Autonomous District Council areas as well," says CPI-M worker Jhantu Deb Barma in Penchartal.
He echoes the sentiment of other party leaders and questioned the 'delay' in holding of ADC polls.
 
“In May when the elected body's tenure expired in May 2020, the BJP government took over the administration with an order from the state Governor. The excuse was Covid19 and again the polls were deferred in November 2020. But if elections can be held in Assam’s Bodo Territorial Council and in Bihar assembly, why elections were avoided in Tripura?"
 
Since May, the state government has been ruling the ADC area with the appointment of an executive officer.
 
The ADC in Tripura has 30 seats, of which 28 are elected and two are nominated.
 
Locals say the interim time since May has helped BJP to 'rebuild' its bridges with its alliance partner
the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura, which is a major stakeholder in the ADC areas.
 
Congress leader Tapas Dey said, “It seems that the BJP is working to regain ground in the
ADC areas".
 
In 2018 assembly polls, the BJP nominee Santana Chakma had won the Penchartal assembly seat.
 
Marxist Anil Chakma was defeated by 32-year-old Ms Chakma by a margin of 1373 votes and she is now Minister of Social Welfare and Social Education and Animal Resource Development in the Biplab Kumar Deb ministry.
 
Interaction at the ground level revealed there are various issues which had cropped up during 2018 assembly polls and some of those pledges made by the BJP are yet to be implemented.
 
The CPI-M is trying to regain its hold and thus has formed 15 village-level party committees to oversee the ensuing polls in the ADC areas.
 
On the other hand, BJP MLA from Pabiachhara (Kumarghat region), Bhagaban Das, too has grown active politically and has started contributing his part to help the saffron party's political prospects.
 
Some of the seats in the ADC region fall under Das's assembly constituency and thus he also has stakes.
 
But the task to win ADC polls for the BJP remains an 'uphill task', say many local BJP supporters and workers
as basic amenities like good roads and water supply still need to be attended to.
 
In November 2020, the state administration faced a new challenge when there were violent protest over the issue of 'settlement' of Reang refugees from Mizoram 'only in Kanchanpur sub-division'.
 
The violence in Kanchanpur and Panisagar, both adjoining Mizoram, caused two deaths and 32 people were injured including security personnel and other protesters.
Locals say during the turbulent days too, Bhagaban Das held crucial round of talks with the agitating groups and tried to pacify them.
 
The state government has also said that it has identified various locations spread across six of the eight districts of Tripura for the resettlement of the Reang tribal refugees.
 
However, what will ultimately turnout in the ADC polls of course remains only in the womb of time.