TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s visit to Tripura on Monday to promote the election campaign in the state seemed disappointing as several posters and banners featuring him and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were found torn. This instance shows the plight of the people and proves that with the Sarma-Deb duo ruling as a popular figure in the Northeast, it is impossible for TMC to promote their cheap strategy in the state.
Abhishek Banerjee’s visit comes days after a controversy erupted in Agartala on Saturday over election strategist Prashant Kishor’s I-Pac team being placed under house arrest by police, citing COVID-19 restrictions. TMC’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien claimed that the police detained the 23 members of the I-PAC under the instruction of Union Minister Amit Shah.
On Monday, Abhishek Banerjee started his journey in Tripura from the famous Mathabari Mandir in an attempt to woo the Hindus, followed by attending an organizational meeting with local leaders. Banerjee expected to give out a strong message to the BJP in Tripura. Trinamool Congress leaders were all set to promote their campaign and become a dominant party in Tripura only to realize all their efforts are in vain. Although Tripura is a Bengali dominated state that doesn’t build up in any way as to why Mamata’s West Bengal politics will work the same way in the northeastern states. Assam’s CM Himanta Biswa and Tripura’s CM Biplob Deb’s popularity among the Bengalis in the northeast is undefeated. Tripura is the second largest Bengali speaking state with 65.73% Bengali speaking population followed by Assam with 28.9%, it is important to note that the Bengali culture and language is very different from that of West Bengal. Moreover, north-eastern Bengalis are often discriminated against and treated as outsiders in West Bengal and referred to as “Prabasi Bengalis”.
TMC’s Muslim appeasement politics comes in direct clash with the Hindu Bengalis of Tripura who has a history of persecution in Bangladesh, whereas BJP has a strong connection with the same because of their development strategy and for pushing the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Tripura has a long history of communist rule and a stagnant economy, but things have significantly changed since BJP rose to power and Deb became the CM in the state, he won the will of the people by promising to achieve purnata (self-dependence) and making Tripura a model state in tourism, agriculture, entrepreneurship and law and order, among other key governance indices. When it comes to priorities, the people of Tripura are right at the top for him. He has set a very good precedent by taking a people-centric approach and giving them greater priority than everything else including political affiliation. This is what sets apart CM Biplab and his predecessor.
Although Mamata is trying her best to strengthen her roots in the Northeast yet under the leadership of Himanta, BJP will never allow TMC to establish a foothold in the state. The people of Tripura have got the taste of development after ages and it is evident that they won’t give their key of leadership to the TMC which has become synonymous with Muslim appeasement, to expand. The Himanta-Deb duo is invincible, their popularity and all-around development strategy in the Northeast have already won the will of the people. TMC playing the Bengali card in Tripura is indeed a cheap trick and definitely wouldn’t work in the northeast.