The BJP will form the government after winning around 45 seats in the 60-member Tripura Assembly, Assam Minister and BJP in-charge for the State Himanta Biswa Sarma said on March 3.
The BJP and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura were leading in a majority of the constituencies whose trends were available, according to Election Commission sources in Agartala.
“We will be winning 44-45 seats in Tripura. We will form the government,” he told reporters here as initial trends indicated that the BJP is leading in 25 seats out the 59 seats where elections were held.
Mr. Sarma further said that the outgoing Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar can take shelter in West Bengal, Kerala or neighbouring Bangladesh. “Manik Sarkar has just three options before him. He can go to West Bengal, where the CPI-M still has some presence. He can go to Kerala, where the party is in power and will rule for three more years or he can go to neighbouring Bangladesh," he said.
Crediting the favourable results to the hard work of party workers of Tripura in the last three years, Mr. Sarma said merger of Trinamool Congress’ Tripura unit with the BJP was the most significant factor in the politics of the Northeastern State as it consolidated the opposition and anti-CPI(M) votes.
“People were fed up with the Manik Sarkar government which has been ruling the State for more than two decades and wanted to get rid of the CPI(M) rule,” he said.
The Assam Education Minister also said the BJP’s alliance with the tribal dominated IPFT has also helped the saffron party. “Tribal votes in Tripura is around 35% and they voted for the BJP lock, stock and barrel,” he said.
Mr. Sarma also dismissed the suggestion that the minorities, particularly the Christians in the northeast, were against the BJP saying the community “wholeheartedly” supported the party.
“I would say, if Amit Shah is a student of post graduate in politics, Rahul Gandhi is still in nursery class,” he told reporters here when asked to compare BJP chief Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s style of functioning.
Mr. Sarma had earlier also criticised Mr. Gandhi for his style of functioning alleging the Congress president was not a serious politician and “he was busy feeding his dog” when the Assam’s then Congress government, where he was part, wanted to discuss urgent issues of the State.