Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Tripura next week to boost the campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has emerged as the main challenger to the state’s ruling Left Front in the next polls.
A number of heavyweight BJP leaders are also scheduled to visit the northeastern state this month ahead of the February 18 election, its Tripura Unit President Biplab Deb has said.
BJP, which has seen a dramatic rise in Tripura in less than three years, is trying to win the state which is being governed by the Left Front government for nearly two and a half decades.
A slew of reasons, including the disenchantment with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s government, have helped the BJP box out Congress and Trinamool Congress to occupy the opposition space.
Modi is scheduled to address two election rallies – one at Udaipur in South Tripura district and the other at Kailashahar in Unakoti district, Biplab said.
“He will try to reach out to the people. The prime minister also plans to address an election rally, and a roadshow at Agartala on February 15,” he added.
A recent rally by BJP President Amit Shah at Tripura’s Udaipur attracted a big crowd, signalling a shift in the people’s mood. Shah will stay in Tripura for a week from February 11 to boost BJP’s campaign.
“We have already put in a list of star campaigners with the central leadership to intensify our campaign against the Left Front,” Biplab added.
He said Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani would arrive in Tripura on February 5. She will be followed by Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on February 6, Home Minister Rajanth Singh on February 7, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minority Welfare Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on February 10.
BJP candidates, who are in high spirits, took out a long procession around Agartala and filed their nomination papers on Wednesday, the last day for joining the fray.
February 3 is the last date for withdrawing candidacy.