Agartala: With the Tripura Assembly polls hardly a fortnight away, both the ruling Left Front and opposition Congress are holding a series of meetings to woo the voters. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, the star campaigner for the LF, has already addressed 25 poll meetings since the announcement of the polls, CPI(M) state Secretary Bijon Dhar said.
He has also been holding small meetings at Dhanpur, his constituency where the electorate comprises tribal Muslims and Hindus, which is about 50 km from here. The picture is almost the same in the other constituencies in eight districts where campaigning will end on February 12.
The assembly elections will held on February 14. Of the 60 seats, CPI(M), the dominant partner of Left Front is contesting 56 seats, RSP two seats and CPI and Forward Block one each. Dhar said party general secretary Prakash Karat, politburo member Brinda Karat, West Bengal leader of the opposition Suryakanta Mishra and central committee members Muhammad Selim and Sitaram Yechuri would campaign for the Left Front.
The Left Front has already held three rallies here which were addressed by Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat. He said that it was to the credit of LF government in combating four decades of insurgency and ensuring peace and development and also communal harmony.
He claimed that Tripura has emerged as a model state in terms of good governance and topped in implementation of MNREGA, with the Centre giving 15 awards to the Left Front government for successful implementation of various schemes. "We have promised to build more infrastructure like roads, drinking water, improvement in agriculture and irrigation," he said.
The Congress, on the other hand, has a long time alliance with the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and National Conference of Tripura (NCT). TPCC President Sudip Roy Burman said that national party leaders and chief ministers of north eastern states would campaign for the party.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and union minister Deepa Dasmunshi would campaign. Film actors Rekha and Rajbabbar and former Indian skipper Md Azharuddin would also campaign on behalf of the Congress, he said.
Among CMs, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki and Assam Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sharma would campaign among tribal voters, who constitute one third of the state's population, he said.
The TPCC president said, "Congress will mainly highlight bad governance of the Manik Sarkar led Left Front government." Despite substantial funds from the central government, employees, unemployed and farmers in general remained deprived during the 20-year old Left Front rule, he said. "We promise good governance and jobs for the unemployed, whose number has reached two lakh," he added.