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With an eye on polls, Amit Shah to visit Tripura Today

Shah is likely to flag alleged lack of development of state under Left govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

BJP President Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah

president will begin his two-day visit on Saturday to lay the groundwork for the party's expansion in the northeastern state the Left has ruled for the last 19 years.

Shah, the architect of several electoral victories of the BJP, is likely to flag alleged lack of development of the state under the Left and violence against his party workers.

Tripura, with only two seats, may not be electorally crucial to the BJP's fortunes at the national level but the state now figures high on Shah's priority list as assembly polls there are due next year.

The chief, known for his aggressive brand of politics, was instrumental in salvaging for the party earlier this year when it had finished second after in the assembly election, and neither party got a majority.

He had quickly despatched Union minister to cobble together a majority with the help of smaller regional parties and managed to form a BJP-led in the tiny coastal state.

Shah will take stock of the party's organisational work in meetings with state leaders and hold a public rally on Sunday.

With the and RSS activists allegedly at the receiving end of violence by the ruling Left, traditionally seen as an ideological foe by saffron groups in Kerala and Tripura, the chief has been devoting considerable time to strengthen the organisation in the two states.

Having forfeited security deposit in 47 of the 50 seats it contested in in the 2013 assembly election, the has increased its vote share and its candidates finished second to winning CPI-M nominees in three bypolls held there since.

leaders claim the party has emerged as the principal challenger to the Left and pointed to the recent defection of a top Trinamool leader and some others to the party.

Less than a week after the formed in neighbouring Manipur, virtually the entire state unit of the Trinamool in had joined the saffron party.

The revolt was led by Ratan Chakrabarty, chairman of the state TMC coordination committee. Chakrabarty had joined with 15 other members of the state committee.

"The has emerged as a strong alternative in the state. It is seen by people as a symbol of development and hope as the state has witnessed no progress and the Left has used organised violence to target us," its national media head Anil Baluni said.

The party has increased the number of its primary members to 2 lakh in the state from 15000 in 2014, he said.

The saffron rise has prompted the Left cadres to attack its workers more and more, the leader said, citing 10 such instances recently.

The Left leaders have, however, consistently denied the allegations and instead blamed the for fanning violence.

CPI-M's Manik Sarkar has been the state's chief minister since 1998.

In 2013, he led his party to a resounding win in 50 out of the state's 60 assembly seats with the pocketing the rest.

However, the Congress' tie-up with the Left in West Bengal led to a mass desertion in its ranks in A nation-wide surge in the BJP's vote share has given the saffron party hope that it can repeat the success in when it goes to the polls early next year.

First Published: Sat, May 06 2017. 03:09 IST