‘Absolute Majority Expected’: Tripura BJP Chief Shows Faith in Party Ahead of Assembly Polls | Exclusive Interview

Last Updated: February 05, 2023, 14:08 IST

Agartala (incl. Jogendranagar, India

Ever since BJP overthrew the left after 25 years of rule in 2018 and came to power, the only motto in Tripura has been that of ‘Vikas’, said Rajib Bhattacharjee (File photo/Reuters)

Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke at length about why BJP sought an alliance with Tipra Motha, a regional party.

Ahead of assembly elections in Tripura, state Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Rajib Bhattacharjee spoke exclusively to CNN-News18 and showed immense faith in the party’s big win. He seemed confident that BJP will retain power in the state with an absolute majority and even heaped praises on former CM Biplab Kumar Deb, crediting him for BJP’s success in Tripura.

Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke at length about why BJP sought an alliance with Tipra Motha, a regional party. He elaborated on BJP’s further plans in the state, saying “Tripura cannot be broken”. Here are some key excerpts from the interview:

Q: What is the feel on ground?

A: On ground, the situation seems in BJP’s favour because ever since BJP overthrew the left after 25 years of rule in 2018 and came to power, the only motto in Tripura has been that of ‘Vikas’. We have worked for all and going by our report card from people, we are seeing they are only interested in BJP.

Q: Why Did BJP choose to change CM?

A: Biplab Kumar Deb ji (former Tripura CM) is our leader and in 2016 he became our President. He has reached out to every part of the state and has done “Sangarsh”. The result of that struggle actually led to the change of Government. After the Central leadership had a different vision for the state, Manik Saha was appointed as the new Chief Minister. However, Centre also made Biplab Kumar Deb, a Rajya Sabha MP and also gave him the responsibility of Haryana.

Q: What do you have to say about opposition terming CM change a failure on BJP’s part?

A: No, no no this is not true. Biplab ji has done everything for every area, even the tribal-dominated areas. He has implemented good work of the double engine Govt. He did everything that’s why Tripura was the first State in the North East to get access to the Covid vaccine. In tribal areas also, Biplab ji has worked hard. He had gone to Delhi and asked for more facilities from Centre.

Q: If you are confident of BJP’s win, why did the party seek alliance with Tipra Motha?

A: Tipra Motha is a regional party and after independence , nobody wanted the development of this tribal people. The Congress Govt was in Centre and in State, yet they did nothing. We had sought an alliance with the party because it worked for the tribal community. However, their slogan was ‘Greater Tipraland’, which according to BJP, cannot happen. The alliance idea was later dropped because BJP decided that whether we stay in government or not , we will never work on breaking Tripura.

Q: What was the requirement of having talks with Tipra Motha ?

A: Tipra Motha had some support in some places in the state but when elections came close, we saw the regional party more clearly. They recently tortured an IPFT candidate and nobody in Tripura wants a criminal activity. Election means democracy and riots cannot win polls. We later found out that Tipra Motha along with CPM, was promoting violence.

Q: What do you have to say about the deteriorating law and order situation in Tripura?

A: CPIM was in Tripura for 25 years but had to tie up with Congress and hence, their organisation has became weak. I want to ask CPIM, how many murders took place in Tripura under their rule? 11 of our workers were murdered just before the election of 2018 and many CPIM workers have cases on them. Their health Minister had raised voice against them and was murdered and people still want to know who has done it. Crime against women was at an all time high before 2018.

Q: What about TMC’s allegations of a law and order problem in Tripura?

A: TMC doesn’t have any value to be speaking on Tripura’s issues. I would like to ask Mamata Banerjee to please handle Bengal, which also has a huge violence problem, despite being a land of Netaji and Rabindranath Tagore. She should concentrate on Bengal and then think of Tripura.

Q: Why will people again vote for BJP ?

A: The people of Tripura have decided to let BJP retain power because of the party’s exponential work in the state. Around 3 lakh people got houses and Modi Ji has given so many gifts to people. The Railway broadway connectivity significantly improved. We had never thought that Rajdhani and Jan Shatabdi express will cross Tripura but that happened. We now have six National Highways in the state and our Airport is in an International style. Besides, the social pension scheme has now increased to Rs 2000 and a 20 per cent DA has been given.

Q: Why is Prathima Bhowmick contesting and who will be the CM face of BJP?

A: The Central leadership will decide the CM face after we win and Prathima Bhowmick is contesting because Dhanpura is her home constituency. She had defeated Manik Sarkar last time.

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