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Tripura polls: Communist cadres getting feel of competition from new foe BJP

Tripura polls: Communist cadres getting feel of competition from new foe BJP

By Nirendra Dev

Monu/Dharmanagar, Feb 5 (UNI) The coffee coloured dry mud is all across his feet and over a pair of cheap sandals. Sitting cross legged on ground the 34-year-old CPI (M) worker Poritosh Nath raises his hands each time his fellow comrade scream from the stage -- Inquilab Zindabad. This slogan is much popular among the Left cadres and this time again they all are getting ready for yet another electoral battle.

"Elections are nothing new for a cadre based party," says Nath adding, however, the tone and tenor of the Left cadres suggest there is a different election this time.

The principal rival for the state's ruling party now is BJP - with the Congress part having been replaced. The cadres have also prepared themselves accordingly. CPI(M) cadres carry a small booklet which has sketches and brief write ups trying to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.

There are references to Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh and also CAG reports slaying Gujarat government when Mr Modi was the Chief Minister.

Interestingly, several cadres say they would have been glad to have pamphlets talk more about issues concerning Tripura and more about matters concerning people's woes in Dhalai district.

But nevertheless, the comrades do not complain or there is hardly any mood against the ÇPI(M) leadership.

In fact the communists workers in Tripura have developed a reputation for discipline but they actually seem to be more docile and also submit in obedience to the authority.

"What to do, this is our party line" is the refrain among several cadres gathered at Monu Bazar for a rally by the Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Several CPI (M) leaders and the Chief Minister himself try to make a good case of seeking votes for yet another term for the Left regime.

One speaker is point blank "Today in Tripura our opponent is the BJP," he says adding 'we have Modi government in Delhi, it is actually RSS government and thus Hitler policy and Hindu chauvinism have all turned a cocktail. Please spare Tripura from this'.

As expected several comrades scream in support. A few tell UNI later that in the past due to obvious reasons they could handle the Congress as an opponent much easily.

Pause for a while and ask a few who attended the rally addressed among others by the Chief Minister - how can the Left supporters and the Tripura people be so good when the reality is so bad.

The answer may be different; but several citizens say the sense of discipline is actually imposed from outside.

"Hence the cadre raj is linked to land mafia raj. It is linked to gross abuse of central funds and NREGA implementation lapses. It is also linked to alleged lawlessness," says Amit Dutta, a social worker in Dharmanagar.

Not surprisingly, Bishwabandhu Sen, BJP candidate from Dharmanagar waxes eloquently: "People of Tripura have made up their mind and the entire CPI (M) party and their leader with clean image (Manik Sarkar) is affected and is nervous".

UNI DEVN AKC PS 0843

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