By JAYANTA DEBNATH | February 28, 2018
Tripurainfo’s poll prediction methodology was first used 15 years ago and since then it has been conducting poll survey and prediction, especially in 2003, 2008 and 2013 Tripura assembly election respectively and they found the poll result was almost same as compared to the declared result. This year will be the 4th such opinion poll prediction and the survey methodology adopted will give some ideas regarding on which political party will bag how many seats and which political party will form the next government.
Following are their views on relative strengths and weaknesses of the two rival formations in the fray:
Left Front: The ruling Left Front led by the CPI (M) is deeply entrenched in the state in political and organizational terms, having active party units all over the nooks and corners of the state. This formidable organizational machinery which works throughout the year on a day-to-day basis is capable of warding off many an adverse factor. Quite naturally, the stakes being very high in the present election virtually a battle to retain the long communist bastion in the country-the organizational machinery of the CPI (M) has worked overtime over the past two years with an added sense of urgency. Apart from this, the performance of the left front government led by chief minister Manik Sarkar who is endowed with possibly the brightest image among all chief ministers in the country has been fair and efficient, especially in the sphere of implementation of schemes and projects for the welfare of the poorer sections of voters and depressed communities such as the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. What has further strengthened the CPI (M)’s position in the tribal dominated constituencies is the allotment of land among 1.25 lakh tribal families under the Right to Forest Act-2006. Since October 2016 the left front government has taken a series of steps to further expand its support base among the poorer and depressed sections of people.
Last but not the least is the general atmosphere of peace and harmony preserved and protected by the left front over the past twenty years under the leadership of Manik Sarkar who is the unquestioned leader of the Front and the Party who spearheaded the campaign for re-election and, needless to say, this has paid rich dividends to the party.
BJP-IPFT: What is Left Front’s strength is BJP-IPFT’s weakness in the state because-unlike the Left Front-BJP is chronically driven by dissensions and factional feuding and its organizational base is weak, to say the least. It’s alliance with IPFT, and their twipraland demand, is also questionable. But BJP’s strength lies in the party’s ability to mobilize its full strength in the campaign for assembly elections well in advance and the wave of support created by it. This time BJP has sprung two major surprises ; announcement of unemployment dole for youths and its highly populist manifesto which promises a lot to the employees, pensioners , students and poorer sections-pledges that the party will find difficult to implement.
Moreover, the commitments made in the manifesto have been validated by none other than Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi and union minister for finance , Shri Arun Jaitley. This has made an impact among the electorate and BJP-IPFT combine is expected to garner more votes from employees and unemployed youths but whether that will be enough to boost BJP’s position remains to be seen. What however may prove to be BJP’s Achilles Heel is the ingress into the party of deserters from Congress via Trinamool as none of them carries more than token credibility. Besides, minority votes-howsoever big or small-in many constituencies will work against the party exacerbated by the presence of a considerable number of non-tribal voters in nine constituencies allotted to the regional IPFT because of the aggressive ethno-centric politics of the latter and the unviable demand for separate Twipraland state. Given this position the BJP and its ally will find it difficult to realize their full potential in the poll outcome. Moreover, the share of votes howsoever big or small-may work against BJP’s expected gains despite the fact that the bankruptcy of Congress in Tripura has paved the way for BJP’s emergence as the prime opposition force in the state. But BJP’s powerful asset in the just concluded assembly polls was the clean image and charisma of the young state president Biplab Kumar Deb who had relentlessly toured the length and breadth of the state to make his party acceptable to all sections of the people. Appropriately backed by the state ‘Pravari’ Sunil Deodhar, BJP president Biplab Deb appears to have made himself acceptable to the electorate to a large extent and this helped his party’s campaign as well as bid for power.
Congress & Others: There were in the grim electoral battle, parties like Congress, Trinamool, INPT and ‘Amra Bangali’ who provided only comic interludes because of sheer inability and bankruptcy of their politics and failure to focus on pertinent issues. Having lost out almost its entire political base to the BJP, Congress put on display only a token presence in the ‘grand finale’ by mobilizing a few hired people to make a mockery of campaign while INPT, Trinamool and ‘Amra Bangali’ remained fringe elements devoid of any worthwhile support base . With the possible exception of Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawal in Ambassa constituency of Dhalai no candidate from the fringe parties could even make their presence felt. This was supposed to yield direct dividends to the BJP but how much it has actually helped the party will be clear only on the day of counting. The direct polarization witnessed in all elections to State Assembly earlier remained confined to Left Front and BJP this time. But the BJP’s alliance and seat adjustment with IPFT may actually prove to be a blunder for BJP because except for Takarjala the IPFT does not seem to have been able to make much of an impact owing to presence of a considerable number of non-tribal Bengali voters who are scared of the IPFT’s demand for ‘Twipraland’. But the issue will be sealed only on the day of counting on March 3.
Check out the offline survey conducted by Tripurainfo.com below:
The above analysis was undertaken by Tripurainfo.com, a leading media house based in Tripura. The analysis was sent to TNT-The Northeast Today by the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tripurainfo.com, Mr. Jayanta Debnath. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org