BJP banking on women power to retain Tripura

It sees the Left Front and not the Trinamool as contender

April 18, 2022 09:40 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar in New Delhi. File

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

BJP in Tripura is still looking at the upcoming Assembly polls next year as a contest between itself and largely the Left Front, despite the aggressive moves made by the Trinamool Congress in the State.

"There is hardly any Opposition in Tripura. Whatever remains of the Opposition, it is still largely the CPI(M)," said Chief Minister Biplab Deb.

The State unit, as has been the BJP's priority in the last few Assembly polls, has identified women voters as a cachment area for themselves. The State government announced 33% reservation in government jobs for women in March and has come out with other programmes targeted at women. For example, a three per cent interest subvention on loans for girl students who qualify for Institutes of National Importance (INI) has been announced and more than 3.25 lakh women Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been set up. The number of SHGs has gone up from 44,000 under the Left Front government to 3.25 lakh under the current government.

Improvements in police stations, of hiring women police personnel for stations, have also been proposed and some have been carried out.

The party is also preparing for bypolls in at least three Assembly seats, necessitated by defections of its MLAs to the Congress and Trinamool Congress. In Agartala, Sudip Roy Barman and Town Badowali MLA Ashish Saha both joined the Congress. Surma MLA Ashish Das moved to the TMC last October. He was expelled from the party and lost his membership of the Assembly.

The Election Commission is yet to announce the dates for the bypolls, but the BJP is preparing for what will be a grudge match between Chief Minister Deb and the former dissenters who left the party after differences with him.

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