Tripura 2018

BJP reads more into its triumph in Tripura


The party believes that a win in the first direct electoral face-off with the Left will have an impact in the culture space

On February 28, while meeting the Chief Ministers of BJP- ruled States here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of a possible BJP victory in the Assembly elections in Tripura. If that happens, he said, the party must celebrate as vigorously as it had done when it won a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh last year.

The reason: a win in Tripura is — if not in numbers, in terms of ideology — one of the biggest victories for the Sangh Parivar. It was the first big, direct face-off between the party and the Left in an Assembly election.

Victory day

By the evening of March 3, party president Amit Shah declared that party workers across the country would celebrate “victory day” on Sunday morning to mark the party’s triumph in the State.

For many, the Left may not look like a threat to a party that rules at the Centre and is part of the government of at least 19 (now 21) States. The importance the Sangh Parivar gives for defeating the Left is less for its electoral reach and more for its institutional influence. A grouse of the Parivar is that Left-leaning intellectuals and academics dominate pedagogy and the culturescape. The exultation in the BJP ranks over the victory in Tripura can be attributed to that. At a press conference at the party’s new headquarters on Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg here, BJP president Amit Shah said the victory in Tripura and the way the party reached within striking distance of forming governments in Meghalaya and Nagaland was an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership by the people of the northeast.

Despite demonstrating great joy in these victories, Mr. Shah however, said that until the party registered victories in Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, he would not term this the “golden age” of the BJP.

“Today, however, our karyakartas from West Bengal and Kerala, who have been victims of violence by the Left parties, are extremely happy and I have been receiving messages relaying their satisfaction with the results in Tripura since this afternoon,” he said. The results in the three States will be a boost for the BJP’s prospects in the upcoming elections in Karnataka, he added.

Mr. Shah ruled out the possibility that the BJP would engage in any horse-trading in Meghalaya, though its ally, the National People’s Party, won 19 seats. The two NDA allies had, however, contested separately. The BJP won two seats, while the Congress won 19 and is ahead in two. “Where is the question of tod-phod (horse-trading)? The Congress does not have a majority there,” Mr. Shah said. For 2019, the portends seem good for the BJP which is aiming at 25 Lok Sabha seats from the region.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:22:49 PM |

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