With just a few days left before the assembly election, all political parties have begun campaigning across Tripura.
Aiming to woo the voters ahead of the polls slated for February 18, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the heavyweight leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Information, Broadcasting and Textiles Minister Smiriti Irani, in the state for the campaign on Sunday.
Singh addressed gatherings of BJP supporters in three constituencies – Barjala, Agartala and Banamalipur.
“I visited Tripura several times, but never seen such a huge gathering in support of BJP,” the home minister said.
“The Lotus will certainly bloom in Tripura and the people of this state are avidly waiting to cast their valuable votes by installing a BJP government over here,” he added.
Also Read- Political parties release candidates’ list for Tripura poll
Singh asserted that Tripura had prospects of joining the most developed states owing to its abundant natural resources.
“But I am surprised to know that 66% of people in Tripura live below poverty line and they are unable to buy a cycle even though the Marxist government has been in power for the past 25 years,” he said.
Addressing a BJP rally at Unakoti, Irani also lashed out at the state government, saying: “What concerns me most is the very high rate of crime against women in this state. My mothers and sisters are not getting justice due to a collapse in the law and order.
Indian Information, Broadcasting and Textiles Minister Smiriti Irani addresses a BJP rally at Unakoti district in Tripura on Sunday, February 4, 2018 | Shilajit Kar Bhowmik/Dhaka Tribune
"The government does not have the moral right anymore to remain in power even for a minute.”
On the other hand, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is leaving no stone unturned to ensure his reelection as he was also found focusing his campaign against the BJP and its wings – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - at a rally on Sunday.
“India is a secular country and that means people are free to follow their religious beliefs without any fear and interference. But what is happening in the country is really worrisome with the minorities feeling unsafe,” he said.
Sarkar added that at least 43 persons belonging to the minority community were killed in the name of cow vigilance during the last few years.
With only one and a half week left before the assembly election, the heat on the campaign trail is only expected to rise, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to visit Tripura on February 8. He will attend rallies at Santirbajar and Kailashar.
He is also scheduled to visit Agartala and attend another rally on February 15.
According to State Election Commission sources, 2.5 million voters will decide the fate of 297 candidates contesting in the Tripura Legislative Assembly polls.