Tripura

Tripura BJP strategy: Party banking on anti-incumbency among youth, effective booth management to oust CPM

The BJP‘s strategy in the upcoming Assembly elections in Tripura is twofold. One is at the macro level, where the turf for the war is the narrative and ideology. The second is at the micro level, where the party aims to do booth management efficiently so as to actually make the voter feel that there is a possibility of a visible difference, which will happen when the party comes to power.
At the macro level, one of the most daunting tasks faced by the party is to convince the voters at large, that a change is possible and voting for someone other than the Left doesn’t involve a threat to their lives. The emphasis on change is visible by the slogan given by the BJP, ‘chalo-paltai’, which means to change the incumbent.This exercise, it seems is working at certain levels at least, because there have been killings of small booth level workers of the BJP, which the party terms acts of desperation by the CPM. Some villagers at the outskirts of Agartala city, who I had the opportunity to interact with, were afraid that the CPM would check their VVPAT receipts to know who they had voted for. People in the hinterlands are not aware that they don’t get the VVPAT receipts to show it to anyone.
More interestingly, this is probably the first time in the history of our country that we are witnessing such an intense battle between the ‘Left’ and ‘Nationalist’ ideologies. The BJP for its part hasn’t abandoned its ideology, which is visibly manifest in the campaign. In all rallies and contact programs, for instance, the intense chanting of slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ is omnipresent. This is also a visible indication of the success of the BJP‘s strategy at the micro level, which succeeded in penetrating their narrative to the masses.
Also, one gets a sense of comfort that finally an election in our country is being fought on ideological groundings, rather than being on caste and vote bank considerations.
Till now, there has been a popular conception that the Left rule inTripura is different from its functioning in the other states. The façade, as it seems, is weathering away, especially because of a series of one-sided political murders in the state. The BJP is winning the narrative war because of this.
But, realistically, this might not manifest into an electoral victory for the BJP, because the voters who intend to vote for the BJP might be threatened into submission. The biggest legitimate worry for the BJP is that its supporters may not turn up on the day of voting.
At the micro level, the BJP has implemented its immensely successful strategy of ‘panna pramukh’. This means that for every page of the electoral roll, there is an in-charge for the BJP and he or she is responsible to just mark the people who are supporting the party.

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