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A victory won the smart way – and a defeat begged for

A victory won the smart way – and a defeat begged for

The BJP has achieved success by destroying the CPM fortress of Tripura they held for the past two decades and putting an end to the decades-long dominance of the Congress.

The confidence which the victory gives to the BJP in its attempts to saffronise the whole of India is not small. The northeastern states' elections came, and gave some solace to the BJP, in the backdrop of first having a stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh, and then losing its grip in Gujarat and also sensing the same in the looming Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh elections. . The severe jolt to the economy in the form of demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST) hit the rural sector the most. The BJP might have been convinced that the growing displeasure towards the party in the rural areas may affect its victory in the coming elections. It was then that the party turned to other strategies to ensure success in the next Parliamentary elections. Calculating a significant drain of support from the discontented Hindi belt, BJP now focuses on the tactic of securing a decent figure from the small states and the coalitions of regional parties. Alongside, the BJP leadership believes that if they could paint India saffron by winning the north east as well, the party would as well be able to win the psychological war which is the first step in preparing for the general elections next year.

The Sangh Parivar has not only abandoned its ideology that internal enemies such as the Muslims, Christians and Communists are to be eliminated, but it is trudging along the same path. Evidence of this is clear in the slackness and negligence displayed by the Centre and the states where BJP is in power, in the matter of violence against these three sections. At the same time, the Sangh Parivar is also on a lookout for strategies regarding how and to what extent to utilize each of these communities in order to make the march towards a Hindutva India easy. Taking the support of the PDP - which backs separatism - for securing power in Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest evidence for that. It was after seeing this experiment a success that the BJP began moves to saffronise the north eastern states for almost three years. The Sangh Parivar which raised a hue and cry for a ban on cow slaughter across India and beat Muslims to death in the name of consuming beef, allowed beef and cow slaughter for the people of the north east. The ‘Parivar’ which burned Christian missionaries to death, rampantly vandalized their institutions and manhandled nuns, formed coalitions with evangelical groups which had dedicated their lives to religious conversions in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya. The party who used to try for polarization citing that Muslims and Christians were incapable of loving their native land because they turn to holy places outside India, were soon seen floating lottery for Jerusalem tours and adopting appeasement tactics by making alliance with separatist parties struggling for free "Twipaland" and for autonomy of the parts of Tripura where they have an upper hand. This is how the BJP has toppled the CPM's red fort in Tripura this time.

The CPM was not without any knowledge of the BJP's attempts to capture their stronghold by any means including through roping in MLAs and their supporters. But Manik Sarkar, the sole survivor from among the breed of selfless leaders who have become extinct even within the CPM – was confidently pinning all hopes on the image of their self-declared political honesty. The CPM leadership was watching it right under their eyes when central ministers and the prime minister were visiting the state over seventy times, strutting about all over the state, throwing promises of benefits worth crores of rupees. But Manik and company were complacent of how far Agartala was from Delhi, and adhering to the Prakash Karat line which was still undecided with the ideological analysis how much carat of Fascism was ingrained in the BJP. Ever since 1978, except for an interregnum of five years of Congress rule, CPM has been the party that ruled Tripura. The balance sheet of this long rule is an unemployed army of seven lakhs. In spite of Agartala being the third internet gateway of the country since 2015, the state could not attract even a single major IT company there. The conventional system of creating government jobs by fetching funds from the Centre has ended with the arrival of Modi regime. The special package for the Northeastern states initiated by the UPA government was taken forward by the Modi Government with a clear political motive. When the Centre granted the limited autonomy demanded by several tribes, and liberally pumped funds, it did not take long for the tribal population to go for BJP en bloc.

The entire young generation of tribal population and Bengali Hindus who were not burdened with any dogmatic inflexibility went behind the BJP. When the people shed all ideological obduracy with a hope of good governance, the CPM doctrinaire chief that Manik Sarkar was, stuck to his guns without budging an inch with pragmatism. Finally that has stripped the CPM of its bastion called Tripura. If the BJP's victory was one that knew the soil and sowed the right seed, the defeat of the CPM should be described as one that it begged for. The hamartia of CPM has always been its inability to read the writing on the wall.

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