Tripura polls: Top guns of Congress 'missing in action'; BJP looks to retain power

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AP, PTI file photos

Agartala: The CPI(M) and the Congress are jointly contesting the elections to the 60-member Tripura assembly, which will be held on February 16 but no top leaders of the Congress party were seen in any of the poll rallies or roadshows in the northeastern state.

However, on the other hand, star campaigners of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and party president JP Nadda are leaving no stone unturned in Tripura and are extensively carrying out the campaigns, roadshows, door-to-door campaigns aiming to retain power with full majority in the state.

With only two days left for campaigning in Tripura for Assembly elections, tall Congress leaders including party President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who are among the "star campaigners" are nowhere to be seen in any of the poll rallies.

The Congress is contesting the 60-member Tripura Assembly in alliance with the CPI(M). The party has put up candidates in 13 seats.

The last date of Campaigning in Tripura is February 14 and the state will go for polling on February 16.

Congress in its manifesto for the Tripura Assembly election promised an old pension scheme for government employees, 50,000 new jobs, an increase in wages of agricultural labourers and free 150 units of electricity, if the party is voted to power.

The party has focussed on employment, the welfare of employees, and poor and middle-class people in the manifesto.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting 55 seats while its partner Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) is contesting five.

BJP in its manifesto promised welfare proposals such as special canteen meals to the poor three times a day at Rs 5 each, a Balika Samridddhi bond of Rs 50,000 to each underprivileged family on the birth of a girl child and scooters for meritorious college girls.

The manifesto also promises smartphones to 50,000 meritorious students, two free LPG cylinders to all beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, land deeds to those without any holdings, and an annual payout of Rs 3,000 to all landless farmers.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) released the party's election manifesto with a key promise to provide two lakh jobs in five years.

The party promised 50,000 jobs in the first year itself.

TMC said all existing government vacancies would be fulfilled and startup incubators would be set up in the state's eight districts.

According to its manifesto, the party would give Rs 1,000 per month to one lakh unemployed youths, including to the 10,323 school teachers who lost their jobs in 2017 due to faulty recruitment if it comes to power.

Besides, the party's key promises include, an additional secretariat in North Tripura to manage affairs of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), Rs 10,000 annual assistance to farmers, 2,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and the implementation of several schemes already operational in West Bengal.

TMC is in full mood to spread its influence beyond West Bengal and is mulling to give a tough fight to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura and are contesting the polls in Mamata Banerjee's face.

Elections will be held on 60 seats in Tripura on February 16. The counting of votes will be held on March 2.

Pradyot Deb Barma, a member of an erstwhile royal family in the region, formed the Tipra Motha party and is demanding for a "Greater Tipraland '' state for the indigenous Tripuris. Pradyot claim that Tipraland comprises areas under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) and the indigenous Tripuris living in the rest of Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and neighbouring Bangladesh.(ANI)

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