Political Pulse: A divided opposition struggles to consolidate anti-BJP votes: What Tripura’s bypoll scenario is looking like

With bypolls to four of Tripura’s 60 assembly seats scheduled for June 23, opposition parties in the state appear divided and fragmented along political lines, despite pushing a similar agenda against the ruling. Bharatiya Janata Party ,BJP,

The BJP, on the other hand, appears resolute and self-confident, even in the face of repeated allegations of political violence from its opponents. Although there have been several incidents of violence after Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha’s predecessor Biplab Kumar Deb was replaced a month ago, Saha has been repeatedly saying that his focus will be on law and order, peace and development.

The saffron party has also categorically expressed its objection against the opposition parties, saying that Congress and CPI(M) are at odds with each other, Trinamool Congress (TMC) is trying to create unrest in the state, and Tripura ADC. The ruling Tipra Motha party of the state is creating law and order situation in the hills of the state.

However, opposition parties, especially the CPI(M), TMC and Congress, are asking voters to ensure that anti-BJP votes are not divided, while the rest divide themselves.

On June 19, Tripura Left Front convener and senior CPI(M) leader Narayan Kar appealed to voters to come out and vote without fear on June 23, urging it to ensure that “anti-BJP” votes are not divided. .

His remarks assume significance in the context that among the four candidates fielded by the Left alliance are candidates who have lost in the past and who have never faced an electoral battle before. The Congress, on the other hand, dropped a candidate for one seat and fielded a rookie candidate in another, where the Left Front has a significant support base, indicating a kind of informal understanding at play.

Kar, however, missed to mention any understanding between the opposition parties and said that the Left can challenge the BJP and asked everyone to vote in their favour.

On a similar note, distancing his party from the Left and the Congress, Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said on June 20 that voting for the CPI(M) or the Congress would mean “wasting” the vote and appealing to the voters. Asked to strengthen the anti-BJP votes. In favor of TMC alone.

Alleging that other parties were banned for running social media campaigns, Banerjee had said that the Communist parties and the Congress have proved fruitless in opposing the BJP in various states and claimed that Mamata Banerjee And only TMC could give a tough fight to the saffron camp.

,Facebook And Twitter alone cannot create a protest mass movement. We are on the streets. We are not keyboard commandos. Don’t vote for CPI(M) or Congress. Votes will be wasted. There should be no division of anti-BJP votes.

Meanwhile, the Congress, which has not fielded candidates in the Soorma assembly constituency – one of the four assembly constituencies undergoing by-polls – has extended support to the TIPRA Motha party, though the former does not agree with the latter’s separate state politics.

Political watchers feel that there are common grounds of opposition unity in the electoral battlefield, but the parties lack political understanding, perhaps from their claim of strength keeping in mind the big battle of the 2023 general assembly elections. is related.

A veteran political analyst said that while all opposition parties want voters to be united, they themselves are divided. The paradox can be attributed to various reasons, including the specter of communism, which explains why no political party wants to associate with the Left.

The political history of Tripura shows that the CPI(M) party aligned with the Congress for Democracy (CFD), formed by a separate faction of the then state Congress leaders, and ran a government for 115 days. The second ragtag alliance of Janata Party and CPI(M) was formed, but it ran the government for 101 days. Both the governments were formed in 1977. Subsequently, the Left was brought to power in 1978, eliminating the possibility of non-Lefts in government for the next decade. A Congress-led government, which lasted from 1988-93, was followed by 25 consecutive years of Left Front rule. Naturally, an alliance with the Left is something that all non-Left opposition parties are skeptical about.

Experts are also of the view that the massive anti-incumbency wave that toppled the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government in 2018 is nowhere close to stopping and the opposition parties are on the verge of forming any formal alliance. are skeptical, especially since a similar understanding does not work elsewhere, such as in West Bengal.

Also, with eight months left for the general assembly elections, all the parties are trying their best to claim their political presence and gain ground for a bigger fight and no one is in a mood to take valuable steps for the by-polls.

Another political analyst felt that the opposition parties lack credible faces to counter the massive might of the BJP riding on the prime minister’s wave. Narendra Modi And the image of Home Minister Amit Shah, not to mention the domestic politics of politicians with a clean image like Chief Minister Saha, a dentist and a professor.

So, while opposition parties may be eager to come together to cast a mandate to voters in their favour, the fragmented opposition political landscape is something they can work on, especially given the fact that they all Agree on one thing – this by-election will set the mood for the 2023 assembly elections in Tripura.