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LF, Congress move together in Tripura poll campaign assailing BJP

After lot of hitches, the LF and the Congress have finalised their seat adjustment, with the former contesting in 46 seats in the 60-member House. The Congress is in the fray in 13 seats, and would extent support to an LF-backed independent in the Ramnagar constituency.

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Agartala: For long bitter political rivals in Tripura, the CPI-M-led Left Front and Congress have come together for the upcoming Assembly elections in the tiny north eastern state to take on the ruling BJP and launched a joint campaign.

After lot of hitches, the LF and the Congress have finalised their seat adjustment, with the former contesting in 46 seats in the 60-member House. The Congress is in the fray in 13 seats, and would extent support to an LF-backed independent in the Ramnagar constituency.

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Perhaps in a bid to convince their respective workers, fed up on a political diet of mutual hatred towards each other through the decades, the leaders of both LF and the Congress have been harping on the theme of “unity for a greater cause” while repeatedly stressing on, what they call, the need to ease out the politics of violence and atrocity of the saffron brigade.

A day after a high-voltage campaign by BJP stalwarts, including its national president J P Nadda, union minister Smriti Irani, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, and five other top leaders, CPI-M and Congress on Sunday embarked on a day long door to door campaign in the city for senior Congress leader Ashis Saha, who is locking horns with Chief Minister Manik Saha at Town Bardowali constituency.
Red flags of the Left and the Congress’s tri-colour fluttered together as their slogan-shouting cadres visited the narrow lanes and bylanes canvassing for support.

On the other hand, veteran communist leader and former Left Front minister Tapan Chakraborty and PCC president Birjit Sinha addressed a joint press conference at Kailashahar in Unakoti district on Saturday to rally the voters against BJP. It was significant because Sinha and Chakraborty had been contesting against each other from two constituencies of Kailashahar for over three decades.

In this election, out of five seats in the district, Congress has put up two candidates while CPI-M nominees are contesting in the other three constituencies. “This is to ensure a direct fight with BJP
in all the seats,” said Sinha.

On Sunday, CPI-M Secretary Jitendra Choudhury and PCC President Birjit Sinha together told the media that they have come together to save the people of the state from the ‘politics of violence and terror of the BJP’ over the past five years. The saffron party had made tall promises and misguided not only the voters, but also the senior leaders who joined BJP’s camp believing in their promises of development, said the two leaders. They were apparently referring to senior Congress leaders, who had crossed over to the saffron camp before and after the previous Assembly polls five years back, but have now returned to their earlier party.

“When there is a common enemy of the people and the state like BJP we cannot go our own sweet ways; we have come together to fulfill the wishes of the people as well as to save them from BJP’s anti-people politics of terror and violence” said Choudhury.

He mentioned that in thr past, during many instances of crisis the leftists had supported Congress in the interest of the country. To buttress his point, Chowdhury mentioned former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s measures like bank nationalisation and abolition of Privy Purse. The Left had also supported the minority governments of Congress led by P V Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh.

Seeking vote for the Congress and CPI-M candidates of the district, two joint election rallies are scheduled at Kailashahar and Kumarghat, which will be address by CPI (M) politburo member and former chief minister Manik Sarkar on Feb 10 and three will be a series of joint progamme including press conferences across the state by the leaders of both the parties, Sinha said.

Meanwhile, taking part in the campaign for Ashis Kumar Saha in the city, senior CPI-M leader Ratan Das said Saha had won the seat as a BJP nominee in 2018. But he along with former BJP minister Sudip Roybarman resigned from the assembly and the party protesting the misrule and corruption of BJP government.

“They re-joined Congress to strengthen unity against BJP. In Bardowali by-poll in June last year, CM Dr Saha rigged the poll with the help of state police, and opposition parties couldn’t send even their agents in 52 of the 56 booths in the constituency, and voters were forced to press the button for BJP. Despite all this, the CM won by only 6000 odd votes and this time ECI has assured it would ensure fair and violence-free voting – we are sure the CM will be defeated by at least more than 10,000 votes,” Das, a communist stalwart and former MLA, claimed.
He reiterated, “Left Front and Congress have united with an open mind to fulfill the aspirations of the common people and defeat the BJP that has destroyed the constitutional order in the state for five years. We are appealing to the electorate to resist “fascist forces” and ensure BJP’s ouster for the development of Tripura.”

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