Tripura Election 2018 : Opinion Poll says BJP May Win, an Analysis.

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The Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) AK Joti announced the polling dates for legislative assembly elections of three northeastern states — Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland. In Tripura, the polling is scheduled to take place on February 18, 2018

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has fielded 57 candidates leaving one seat each to its Left Front partner Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party. The BJP is contesting from 51 seats. It has left nine seats for its electoral ally, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT). Congress candidates have filed from 59 constituencies. Trinamool Congress has nominated 24 candidates.

According to the News X- Jan Ki Baat opinion poll, BJP-IPFT coalition in Tripura is likely to win 31-37 seats out of the total 60 assembly constituencies in the state. The survey also predicts that the ruling CPI(M) may get 23-29 seats; while the Congress and other parties may not win any seat in the state.

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Tripura Opinion Polls: NewsX brings you the Jan ki Baat opinion poll for upcoming Tripura polls

Video courtesy- Youtube , NewsX, Jan Ki Baat 

On the contrary, at an election rally in North Tripura district, CM said, people will “foil” BJP hopes in the state and the Left front government will “play a significant role to overthrow the BJP at the Centre in the 2019 parliamentary polls.”

Although the state is backward in industrialization but has the potentiality for industrial opportunities and improvement which in turn will increase employment generation in the state? Tripura has a very bright future in following industries.

  1. Natural gas based Industries.
  2. Food processing Industries.
  3. Tea processing Industries.
  4. Rubber based Industries.
  5. Software Industries.
  6. Handloom, handicrafts and Agriculture.
  7. Village and Small scale Industries.

It might be mentioned here that despite so many constraints the state has made progress in this direction though the pace was slow.

Tripura is witnessing a significant political churning ahead of the assembly elections to be held in February 2018. Decades-old demands for statehood by several tribal groups have reemerged—apart from the IPFT, other tribal-based political parties such as the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura have also raised demands for greater autonomy, and are in negotiations with the central government regarding these. The negotiations are aided by an alliance with the IPFT—the tribal-based party was one of 11 major regional parties that formed an alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, under the banner of the North East Regional Parties Forum, in March 2014. In addition to the separatist demands, the ruling CPI (M) government also faces the challenge presented by the rise of the BJP in the state, which has displaced the Congress and the Trinamool Congress to emerge as the main opposition.

Tripura has several potential, yet relatively unexplored sectors such as organic spices, bio-fuel and eco-tourism. It is rich in natural resources such as natural gas, rubber, tea and medicinal plants. The state is also known for its vibrant food processing, bamboo and sericulture industries. The state is second largest natural rubber producer in the country, after Kerala.

Between 2004-05 and 2015-16, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) expanded at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.13 per cent to US$ 5.20 billion whereas the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 8.50 per cent to US$ 4.47 billion.

But the coin has other picture too which does not seems to be rosy.

With the increase in number of pass out students, the number of unemployed is also raising high. According to the recent data released the total number of unemployed likely to be nearly 6 lakh 62 thousands. Approx. number of unemployed in General Category- 3 lakh 20 thousand 294, in Scheduled caste Category- 1 lakh 53 thousand 531, Scheduled Tribes category- 1 lakh thousand 398 , Minorities- 26 thousand, OBC- 59 thousand 2016, physically handicapped – 5 thousand 302.Apart from that the unemployed who have obtained BA Pass Certificate are 36 thousand 740, B.Sc- 7 thousand 397, B. Com- 3 thousand 404, M.A- 7thousand 28, M. Scc- 1 thousand 714, M. Com- 759, Higher Secondary- 67 thousand 421, Madhyamik- 1 lakh 96 thousand 713, Class VIII- 2 lakh 98 thousand. B. E (Civil)- 616, BE (Mechanical)- 473, Diploma (Civil)-671, Diploma (Electrical)- 403, Mechanical -423. The youths who had attained M. B. B. S Pass-80, Agri B.Sc- 197, Lawyer-185.

Meanwhile, the latest report of the Employment Exchange, Government of Tripura shows that till January 31st, 658679 persons were unemployed. Among them, number of persons failed in the 8th Standard is recorded as 59494, 8th Standard passed­ 248665, Madhyamik­ 195034, H.S (+2), Graduate­ 47199, Postgraduate­ 9335, Engineer­3026, Doctor­303, Technical­ 2101 and others­ 27199.

Among minority classes, the number of unemployed youths in Scheduled Caste category is 107209, Scheduled Tribes­ 152732, OBC­ 49018, Muslim Minority­ 27357 and Handicapped­ 5280. According to the latest National sample survey (NSS Report No­ 554, 68/10/1) in 2011, the ration of unemployed according to the population is 128 per thousand.

Due to the increase of unemployed youth in the State, the progress of the State is at bottom level. As per the Economic Review report 2012, Kerala is in fourth position in unemployment level among states, with an unemployment level of 9.9 per cent. The three other states ahead of Kerala in unemployment levels are small states, namely Goa (17.9 percent), Tripura (14.1 percent) and Sikkim (12.6 percent). However, if the unemployment levels are taken according to the current daily status (CDS) approach, Kerala is in the second position with 14.3 per cent behind Tripura (17.2 per cent). The report indicates that among the larger Indian states, the unemployment level in the state is the highest in India.

However the effort to uplift the state is going on The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of India signed a loan agreement of US$ 80 million, which is the third tranche of a US$ 200 million financing facility under the North Eastern Region Capital cities Development Investment Program, and will be invested for improving water supply, solid waste management and sanitation in the cities of Agartala and Aizwal, the capital cities of Tripura and Mizoram respectively.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to spend Rs 450 crore (US$ 68 million) on upgradation of Agartala airport in Tripura to international standards, which is expected to be completed by 2016.

The equation is clear when

It is not a big-ticket economic reform but the humble LPG cylinder which, the BJP believes, can give enough firepower to its campaign to end the 25-year rule of the CPI(M) in Tripura. Tripura BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb says that over 3.33 lakh poor women have been given free LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

This means more than half of the total 25 lakh voters in the state have benefited from it, supposing that one family has on an average four members, he adds. Assembly polls in Tripura and Meghalaya are due in February next year.

“The success of the central government’s welfare schemes such as Ujjwala will be one of our key planks. Our another plank is the Left’s reign of fear. People are with us,” he told PTI, expressing confidence that his party would form its first ever government in the state next year. Seeking to boost his party’s campaign in the state, BJP president Amit Shah is likely to hold two rallies later this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected there next month, he said.

The primary responsibility of industrial development of backward areas rests with the State Governments. The Union Government supplements their efforts through various schemes launched by it with a view to promote industrialization in industrially backward areas of the country.

Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) is implementing the following Schemes with a view to promote industrial development of backward areas of the country:

North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP 2007) was notified   for the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura w.e.f. 01.04.2007. It has been extended till 31.03.2017. Incentives provided under the Policy:-

 

  • Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme

  • Central Interest Subsidy Scheme

  • Comprehensive Insurance Scheme

  • Excise duty exemption on Value Addition basis and

  • 100% Income Tax exemption

 

Tripura has also benefited a lot from the rural employment guarantee scheme MNREGA and it was largely due to the efforts of the Modi government, the BJP claimed. They have alleged that the central government has been paying its 90 per cent of the share of Rs 177 wage per day per person, while the state has failed to give the remainder 10 per cent. Here now BJP promising they will increase the minimum daily wages will be 340 per day, while the presently Tripura State Government paying Rs 177 per day.

The focus of Central Govt naturally is being raised rapidly. Prime minister, Narendra Modi on Saturday said Centre has approved a new Central Sector Scheme, North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme which will fill the gaps in creation of infrastructure in two sectors.

Modi who was in Mizoram said, “One sector is physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and especially projects promoting tourism. The other is social sector projects of education and health. The new scheme has been designed after due consultations with State Governments. However, to ensure continuity, all ongoing projects under NLCPR (Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources) will be provided funds for completion by March 2022.

The effort is now getting a rapid race to strengthen their focus.  The central government has launched a Rs.5,000 crore ambitious project for the development of telecommunications in the northeastern states, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Saturday.

The project will be implemented in the next five years, the minister for communications and information technology said after laying the foundation stone to operationalize the new international internet gateway linking Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh.

Prasad asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) chairman-cum-managing director Anupam Srivastava to conduct an audit following Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s complaint that poor quality telecom equipment was being installed in the northeast.

Modi dedicated of the 60 Mega-Watt Tuirial Hydro-power Project to the nation. This comes 13 years after the last major central sector hydro-power project in the North-Eastern Region–the Kopili Stage-II.

Going through the latest trends of North-East India Politics it may be possible that BJP is in a position to fight back in Tripura. The major development which BJP took for north-east on political ground is to create an alliance focusing only on north-eastern part. If it cracks it may benefit a lot as BJP formed government in recently concluded assembly election in Manipur.

Going through the latest trends of North-East India Politics it may be possible that BJP is in a position to fight back in Tripura. The major development which BJP took for north-east on political ground is to create an alliance focusing only on north-eastern part. If it cracks it may benefit a lot as BJP formed government in recently concluded assembly election in Manipur.

The BJP government has focused lot on North-East India and that what is paying back to them people from other established party started joining BJP and this could be major game changer for BJP in 2018 Tripura assembly election.

As the BJP tries to win over the tribal parties to its side, the political course of the state would depend on how further negotiations between the tribal parties and the center on the autonomy of tribal areas unfold in the coming days.

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About Suvendu Narayan Roy 35 Articles
Author and Faculty member of Finance Analyst -Financial and Political Reputed Article writer Director - Knowgen Educational Services Pvt.. Ltd Co-editor JCBR, a cross functional business research journal