Tripura polls, here’s how BJP plans to win the tribal state

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New Delhi | Updated: November 28, 2017 9:54:05 AM

With an aim to make a significant impact in the next year's Tripura Assembly elections, BJP has come up with a unique idea.

tripura polls, tripura elections, bjp, cpim, tmcWith an aim to make a significant impact in the next year’s Tripura Assembly elections, BJP has come up with a unique idea.

With an aim to make a significant impact in the next year’s Tripura Assembly elections, BJP has come up with a unique idea. The party has come up with depictions of Bharat Mata in the traditional attire of the four major tribal communities of the state. Usually, Bharat Mata is depicted as a lady wearing a sari and holding the national flag. The move is being seen as to woo the tribal population which plays a pivotal role, accoridng to Indian Express report. BJP in-charge for Tripura Sunil Deodhar said, “The idea is to counter the sense of alienation these tribes feel from the rest of the country. They too are a part of Bharat and Bharat Mata is theirs too. Each tribe has their unique culture and their unique dress, and we wanted to respect that.” BJP has planned to bring out such tribe-specific images of Bharat Mata for all the tribes in the North-East.

Under the leadership of Amit Shah, BJP has set a target of expanding its base outside the stronghold areas. The party has already achieved tremendous success in Assam. BJP is also trying to make inroads in Odisha and Bengal.

Meanwhile in Tripura, in the first phase, four tribal communities — Debbarma, Tripuri/Tripura, Reang and Chakma, which together constitute 77.8 per cent of the total tribal population in the state — will be represented in the images of ‘Bharat Mata’. This images will also be displayed at party programmes. “Eventually, we will come up with such depictions of Bharat Mata for each of the 300 tribes in the North-East,” said Deodhar. “Usually, at every BJP programme we have photographs of Bharat Mata, our founder Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Syama Prasad Mookerjee. We will be using these tribal depictions of Bharat Mata, along with the one in which Bharat Mata is seen wearing a sari, because Tripura also has a large population of Bengalis,” he said.

The tribal-dominated hilly areas of the state is key to success in the Assembly polls, accoridng to BJP. In September, the BJP had approached the two major tribal-based parties of the state — Indigenous People’s Front of Twipra (IPFT) and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) — to join the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
The two parties, both united in their demand for separate statehood for Twipraland, have been the Left’s main opposition in the area for decades.

According to the 2001 census, Reangs are the second-largest tribal community in the state with a population of 1.64 lakh (16.6 per cent), while the Chakma population is 61,793 (6.5 per cent). The total tribal population was pegged at 99.3 lakh, accounting for 31 per cent of the state’s total population of 31.99 lakh (2001 census).

Six Tripura MLAs, who were earlier sacked by the Trinamool Congress and who had voted for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential election, had formally joined the BJP. The six legislators, led by former leader of the opposition (Congress) in the Tripura Assembly Sudip Roy Burman, were welcomed into the saffron party by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the party’s North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convener Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP chief Biplab Kumar Deb and state party observer Sunil Deodhar.

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