With bye-elections in four assembly seats in Tripura – Surma, Jubarajnagar, Town Bardowali and Agartala – drawing closer and barely nine months remaining before the Assembly elections early next year, opposition Left Front Sunday said no one should attempt to divide anti-BJP votes in the state.
Speaking to reporters at the state party headquarters in Agartala, Left Front convener and senior CPI(M) leader Narayan Kar appealed citizens to vote without fear or favour in the June 23 bypolls and urged everyone to make sure that ‘anti-BJP votes’ do not get divided. In an apparent message to other Opposition parties, he also said only the Left can challenge the BJP in the state.
Poll pundits said Kar’s comments are crucial given the informal poll understanding between the Left Front and the Congress. It is said that the Left alliance has put up ‘weak’ candidates in two of the four seats, which are going to the bypolls, to help the Congress. Whereas, the Congress has not fielded any candidate in one seat and put up a rookie nominee in another seat where the Left Front enjoys a significant support base.
Kar’s comments came shortly after he met with Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte and submitted a memorandum requesting the poll machinery’s intervention in ensuring a smooth campaign for the bypolls.
Best of Express Premium
“Poll campaigning is about to end. We were unable to campaign properly owing to natural calamities. BJP-backed miscreants also attacked us multiple times. We sought help from the CEO to campaign peacefully in the few hours that are left before campaigning ends. We told him that we had bitter experiences during the polls in the recent past. The CEO assured us that those incidents would not be repeated,” Kar told reporters.
Left Front’s comments came soon after Trinamool Congress leaders claimed that voting for the CPI(M) and the Congress would be a “waste”.
“Don’t vote for CPI(M) and Congress, it will be a waste. They are not active at the national political level. The TMC is occupying the anti-BJP space and people of Bengal made it clear by giving the mandate to Mamata Banerjee thrice in a row,” TMC leader Kunal Ghosh told reporters in Agartala Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, BJP candidate Dr Ashok Sinha and others joined Assam Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma at a roadshow in Agartala and Town Bardowali Sunday.