IANS Interview: Confident Of Third Term For PM Modi, But Tripura CM Not Taking INDIA Bloc Lightly

(MENAFN- IANS) Agartala, April 13 (IANS) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha said that it is more than 100 per cent confirmed that Narendra Modi would become Prime Minister for a third term. Also, the BJP would easily win the two Lok Sabha seats in the state but we are not taking the INDIA bloc lightly, he added.

Saha, a former Tripura state BJP president, said that the party fought an election with all seriousness and never considered the opponent parties as weak.

“We are not complacent about the poll outcome in Tripura and other parts of the country. Our challenge is to increase our victory margin compared to the previous elections,” the Chief Minister said in an exclusive interview with IANS.

Admitting that there are still certain bases of the Left parties in Tripura, he said that the BJP has been trying to get better results in those assembly segments where the party comparatively does not perform satisfactorily or lost the seats to the opposition parties in last year's February 16 assembly polls.

Tripura has two Lok Sabha seats and 60 assembly constituencies with 30 assembly segments falling in each parliamentary constituency.

In last year's assembly polls, the ruling BJP won 32 seats while its ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura secured one.

The tribal based Tipra Motha Party (TMP) secured 13 seats while the CPI-M managed 11 seats and the Congress three. The CPI-M and the Congress contested the assembly polls in a seat sharing arrangement.

The Chief Minister said that for the all round development of the northeast and the welfare of the people and to establish peace in the region, the Narendra Modi government has signed 12 agreements with various organisations and communities in the region including one with the TMP on March 2.

“The tripartite accord with the TMP would further develop the 12 lakh Janajati (tribals) and would boost their socio economic condition and make them happy besides facilitating smooth development in the tribal areas.”

After the March 2 agreement, the erstwhile opposition party TMP joined the BJP government on March 7 and two of the party's MLAs became ministers in the BJP led government.

“Despite agreement with the TMP, our Janjati Moracha (tribal wing of the BJP) would further step up its activities in the tribal areas. There would be no problem. We would go with our own policies, strategies and mission,” the septuagenarian dental surgeon-turned-politician said.

Saha, who was also a Rajya Sabha member for a brief period before becoming the Chief Minister in May 2022 after former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from the top post, said that as the people have gladly accepted the BJP government's policies and governance, our responsibilities have increased further.

Noting that the Lok Sabha elections are being held on national issues, the Chief Minister said that due to PM Modi, the credibility of the BJP has increased not only in the country but all over the world.

“Whenever the Modi government and our party promised anything, these were always fulfilled. Be it the issue of Article 370, Ram Mandir, CAA or Triple Talaq, we fulfilled all the promises,” he said adding that with the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, PM Modi has realised the 500 year old hopes and aspirations of Indians and crores of people living abroad.

Slamming the CPI-M and the Congress for their slogan to protect democracy and the Constitution, Saha said that the two parties have no moral right to speak about democracy.

“We have all records that during the regimes of both the Congress and the Left parties many innocent people and leaders belonging to the opposition parties were killed.

"The CPI-M government could not protect its own former Health Minister Bmal Sinha (who was killed by militants in March 1998). Several MLAs were also murdered during the Left governance,” he pointed out.

Saha said that people have experienced the CPI-M's governance in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura and their experience has been very horrific.

“Who is the face of the INDIA bloc? The alliance is in disarray. With no credibility, they are fooling the people,” remarked Saha, who in last year's assembly polls was re-elected from the Town Bordowali seat for the second time after defeating state Congress president Asish Kumar Saha.

Polling for the Tripura West Parliamentary seat will be held on April 19 in the first of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, while the Tripura East (ST) constituency will go to the polls in the second phase on April 26.

The by-election to the Ramnagar Assembly seat will also be held on April 19. The seat fell vacant after the demise of sitting BJP MLA Surajit Datta on December 28 last year.

In all 18 candidates, including two women, are contesting the two Lok Sabha seats while two candidates, one each from the BJP and the CPI-M, are trying their electoral fortunes in the Ramnagar Assembly by-poll.

In the Lok Sabha poll for the two seats, the main contest is expected to be between the BJP and the INDIA bloc, comprising the Congress, CPI-M and six other parties.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at ...)



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