Exit poll prediction: Hint of BJP win in Communist bastion Tripura; blur in Meghalaya and Nagaland

As Peoples Pulse predicts fall of Left’s last bastion, the key question is whether Shillong will see a hung House or a clear mandate for single-party rule.

Published: 28th February 2018 02:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2018 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

A woman shows her ink-marked finger after casting vote during re-polling of Tripura Assembly elections in Agartala on Monday. | PTI

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Twipra (IPFT) alliance is set to form the next government in Tripura and the ruling CPI-M would be ousted after a 25-yeat stint in power, a pre-poll survey conducted between February 10 and 14 by ‘Peoples Pulse’, a Hyderabad-based political research organisation, claimed.

The BJP had contested the election, held on February 18, on the slogan “chalo paltai” (let’s change).
“This change is historic as it’s for the first time in independent India that a state has witnessed a direct contest between the Left and the Right, making Tripura Assembly election not merely an electoral contest, but also an ideological one. Fought with intense passions and mudslinging campaigns, the victory of BJP over CPI-M would resonate at the national level. While it would be a double sundae for BJP, for CPI-M it marks the fall of their last bastion. This would be a remarkable performance by BJP as in 2013 its vote share was around 1.5 per cent,” Peoples Pulse said in a statement.

During the survey, nearly half the electorate said BJP was their choice. The Congress is but a blur on the Tripura electoral landscape this time and thereby, continues its trend of downslide from the 2014 general elections.

If the results on the lines predicted, it would have deep political implications, the statement said. On an immediate basis, it will mark the fall of the last Left bastion in the country. At another level, the CPI-M and its Left associates have to go back to the drawing board on how to find political relevance and therefore, importantly find connect with the people, the statement said.

Sunil V Deodhar

According to the survey, BJP will get 31-36 seats while the Left Front will have to contend with around 19-23 seats in the 60-member Assembly. Also, for the first time, Congress would fail to open its account in the state since 1978. Talking to The New Indian Express, BJP insiders attributed the party’s rise in Tripura to former RSS pracharak Sunil V Deodhar, who was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll manager in 2014.

The 53-year-old Maharashtrian has been instrumental in expanding the BJP’s grip into rural as well as urban Tripura. The BJP hardly had any base in the state till three years ago when Deodhar was sent there. He regularly interacted with cross sections of society to try and understand their problems and then spearheaded agitations against the government.

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