The Communist Party of India – Marxist-led ruling Left Front seems confident about retaining power in the poll-bound state of Tripura.
The north-eastern state, which will go to polls on Thursday, is currently the only state ruled by the Left Front.
The party is banking on the oratory skills of several of its top leaders who have repeatedly targeted the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has kept his election campaign confined to issues that affect the state.
Senior CPI-M leaders like Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and Biman Basu have undertaken a whirlwind campaign tour of the entire state.
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and senior party leaders Subhasini Ali and Mohammed Salim were among other senior Left leaders who had hit the campaign trail in Tripura.
The Congress’s campaign was lacklustre in comparison, with only senior party leaders like Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram joining the campaign on the last two days.
Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi failed to campaign in the state.
During the campaign, Left Front leaders repeatedly hit out at the Congress-led UPA government in the Centre for its “wrong and anti-people policies” and lauded the Tripura government for the “all-round development” of the state.
The CPI-M led Left Front has been in power in Tripura for the last 20 years. In the outgoing 60-member assembly, the Left Front has 49 Members of Legislative Assembly, including 46 from the CPI-M, two from the Revolutionary Socialist Party and one from the Communist Party of India.
The Left Front is desperate to hold on to its current tally in the assembly, if not better it, as it wants to flaunt its success in the Tripura polls after losing its bastions in West Bengal and Kerala.
Responding to the allegations levelled against his government, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar recently said, “Our opposition parties say the Left Front is in power in Tripura. But the fact is that we are not in power but in the office because the power lies with the Centre that is ruled by the Congress. Our Constitution provides very limited power to the state governments.”
About the allegations of misgovernance made by Rahul Gandhi, Sarkar said the Congress vice president should find out why the UPA government led by the Congress had repeatedly showered kudos on the Left Front government in the state for good governance in various sectors.