It’s 50:50 in Tripura, says locals ahead of PM Modi’s visit today


Agartala: ‘Fifty-fifty’ is the buzzword in poll-bound Tripura on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on Thursday. Modi will address two rallies, one at Sonamura and the other at Kailasahar. His visit is likely to boost the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign.

The public perception is that the polls will be keenly contested between the ruling Left Front and a resurgent BJP. But nobody is ready to bet on any party. They say it is fifty-fifty. Birendra Prasad, 47, says he does not remember when the locals last saw the state poised for a neck-and-neck fight.

“Victory may go either way — BJP or the Left. In my memory of the past 30 years, for 25 of which the Left Front has ruled on the trot since 1993, one could easily predict which way the wind was blowing. However, it will be foolish to predict a winner in this election. The BJP is everywhere and it has already caused creases on the Left’s forehead,” Prasad, who runs a paan shop in Agartala, said.

One reason he feels the saffron party will give the Left a run for its money is the former’s aggressive and widespread campaign.

“Perhaps, nobody in Tripura has seen such massive campaigns. Not just in urban Tripura, they (BJP) have managed to spread their tentacles to rural Tripura as well by regularly organising rallies,” Prasad said. He is not worried about who wins. All that he wants from whichever party forms the government is peace.

Meanwhile, over 200 candidates filed nominations in Nagaland on the last day.

“Overall, around 240 candidates have filed their nominations. This includes those who filed the papers on Tuesday.  Nagaland’s CEO, Abhijit Sinha said on Wednesday.