BJP-led NDA’s wave in Tripura sends Congress into oblivion

The entire Congress vote share seems to have shifted to the BJP which garnered 42.8% of votes in 2018 elections, up from a meagre 1.54% in the 2013 polls.

BJP-led NDA’s wave in Tripura sends Congress into oblivion

Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front's decimation in Tripura Assembly elections 2018 at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has hidden Congress's complete annihilation in the Northeastern state. The Congress saw a complete erosion of its vote bank which plunged to just about 1.8% resulting in all its candidates losing the election by a huge margin.

The party had secured 10 seats in the 2013 elections with a vote share of 36.53% (8,04,457 votes) and was the principal opposition party in the state. The entire Congress vote share seems to have shifted to the BJP which garnered 42.8% of votes in 2018 elections, up from a meagre 1.54% in the 2013 polls.

Even as the BJP formed an alliance with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and launched an aggressive campaign to uproot the 25-year-old Left Front rule in the state, the Congress lurched from one crisis to another and failed to put up any fight.

Congress had been trying to win Tripura for well over two decades but when the state's voter decided to go for change it was the BJP-led alliance which walked away with the prize. The party has been long plagued by factional fighting with local leaders not seeing eye to eye and its covert understanding with the Left Front in the face of a rampaging BJP saw the party being completely marginalised in the state. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah toured Tripura extensively addressing several rallies, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi landed in the state on February 16 and spoke at just one meeting.

BJP leaders succeeded in sending out the message that Congress was not a serious player as it was not hitting the Left Front government of Manik Sarkar with full vigour. Congress leadership also failed to put forward an aggressive and young face to counter the BJP and, in the end, paid dearly for its follies.

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