Trouble ahead for Mamata Banerjee? BJP conquers ‘Red’ fort Tripura, West Bengal next on ‘saffron’ agenda

By: | Updated: March 3, 2018 3:56 PM

BJPs victory in Tripura may have come as a surprise to many observers who believed the "Red" fort was impenetrable for the last over two decades.

mamata banerjeeMamata Banerjee has been one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre. But the results of local body election have shown that BJP’s popularity is steadily rising. (Twitter/@MamataOfficial)

Tripura election result 2018: Just a day after India celebrated Holi – the festival of colours – the BJP virtually painted Tripura ‘saffron’ by dethroning Manik Sarkar-led Left government in the state after two decades. The election results in Tripura may, however, worry West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in her backyard.

Till 3.00 pm on Saturday, the Election Commission’s website said BJP was leading on 34 out of 59 seats of the 60-member Tripura Assembly that went to polls on 18 February. IPFT, an ally of the BJP, was leading on eight seats while the ruling CPI(M) was leading in just 19 assembly constituencies of the state.

BJP’s victory in Tripura may have come as a surprise to many observers who believed the “Red” fort was impenetrable. Notably, the stunning BJP victory in Tripura came in just four years.

In Tripura assembly elections 2013, BJP had zero seats and most of its candidates had lost their deposits. After Narendra Modi became the prime minister in May 2014, BJP and RSS hit the grounds in the Left bastion and the result is now in front of all. Notably, this should ring alarm bells for Banerjee as well because the saffron party has also left no stone unturned to gain a solid foothold in West Bengal. Amit Shah-led BJP has also slowly emerged as the prime challenger to Bannerjee’s TMC, pushing CPI-M and Congress to the sidelines.

Apparently worried over the rising clout of BJP in West Bengal, Banerjee has been one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre. But the recent results of local body election have shown that BJP’s popularity is steadily rising.

Tripura has been ruled by the Left government for last 25 years and Manik Sarkar has served as a CM for two decades.

It is now believed the result of Tripura will impact electoral politics in West Bengal. Both states have significantly high Bangla-speaking Hindus. Not just West Bengal, Tripura election result may also impact national politics. A CPI-M leader had acknowledged this on Friday. The CPI-M leader had told PTI, “If the Left Front wins in Tripura then there might not be any chance of altering the political draft that has been adopted. But, if the BJP wins then the question of adjustment with the Congress to stop the BJP will again come up.”

READ | Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland election results 2018 LIVE: Double Holi for BJP! Modi ‘magic’ paints Tripura saffron

While the Left may mull joining hands with opposition Congress, and other parties, Banerjee would be in a fix about joining such an alliance as she came to power after trampling the Left in West Bengal in 2011.

Reportedly, West Bengal unit of BJP is mulling to adopt the “Tripura model”. As part of the plan, BJP has decided to do a door-to-door campaign in all 77,000 booths of the state ahead of Panchayat elections in the state this year. This was one of the strategies vigorously pursued by BJP in Tripura. The saffron party is seeing Panchayat polls as a quarterfinal ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections and the final in 2021 assembly elections.

BJP chief Amit Shah is also expected to start campaigning in Bengal soon.

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