BJP President Amit Shah on Monday said the Congress is helping the ruling CPI-M in Tripura by splitting the non-Left vote share, for the upcoming February 18 assembly polls."Congress is practically helping the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) by splitting the non-Left vote share in Tripura. However, it would not be an obstacle for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to come to power in the state after the next week's assembly elections," Shah told the media here."BJP had little base in Manipur and Assam, but we came to power there. Similarly, our party did not have an adequate base in Tripura earlier and the BJP got a very small percentage of votes previously (BJP secured 1.54 per cent votes in 2013 polls) in Tripura. This time BJP is a big political force... continuously expanding its base," Shah said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity and BJP's performance helped the party to expand its base in newer areas and all the regions of the country."Shah said that Tripura would become the 20th state the BJP rules in the country. "Fearing BJP's massive growth, the CPI-M cadres are attacking BJP members. A section of the police and administration are working on the direction of the CPI-M cadres."Coming down heavily on the CPI-M-led Left Front government, the BJP supremo said that following the Finance Commission's recommendations, the Tripura government has received Rs 18,000 crore and Rs 950 crore was sanctioned by the central government in different projects and schemes."The Left government is misusing the central funds. Twenty-five years ago, the number of unemployed was 25,000, and after 25 years of rule by the CPI-M government, the number has risen to seven lakh," the BJP chief contended.
Shah said that the BJP government would implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations for Manipur government employees, and once it comes to power in Tripura this would be done for the state's employees as well."Under Left rule, Tripura had gone backward. After BJP comes to power, Tripura would be a model state in the country," Shah added.Besides Shah, top BJP leaders, several Union ministers, including Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, party General Secretary Ram Madhav, Shahnawaz Hussain, West Bengal's Mukul Roy and Locket Chatterjee, Assam's minister Himanta Biswa Sarma are campaigning for the party.The ruling CPI-M has fielded 57 candidates, leaving one seat each to its Left Front partners -- the Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.The BJP is contesting 51 seats. It has left nine seats for its electoral ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT).Congress candidates have filed nominations in 59 of the state's 60 constituencies.Trinamool Congress has nominated 24 candidates.Polling will be held for the 60-seat Tripura assembly on Sunday, February 18. The votes will be counted on March 3.