AGARTALA, APRIL 3: There is something missing in Tripura this election season. The ensemble of poll songs, jingles, street drama, cartoons and witty limericks that were an integral part of electioneering in the state are not that loud this time.
The opposition Left front is blaming the ruling BJP for the dull elections that 2019 is turning out to be. Tripura Left Front convener Bijan Dhar told indianexpress.com that the party is using just the theme song which was released nationally. “The poll songs which were made locally could not be used. We are having a hard time thwarting political attacks anyway. The traditional campaign mode is not working out so far this year,” Dhar said.
Dhar said the communists have dropped the idea of holding large rallies in the face of “political attacks launched by ruling BJP”. They have switched to small meetings in courtyards, bazaars and street corners along with small rallies, he said.
Samir Dhar, a Left intellectual and lyricist, said his cultural forum ‘Awaaz’ will not be releasing poll songs this year. Shibaprasad Dhar, leader of Tripura Sanskriti Samanyay Kendra, a Left cultural organisation, too blamed violence for the Left’s lack of interest in these cultural activities.
However, the Congress party is still holding fort. But Party vice-president Tapas Dey alleged many cultural workers were attacked and harassed while campaigning with the poll tracks. “We have got 8 major election songs this year along with over a hundred limericks, 150 plus cartoons and a wide array of literature that we are distributing among people to support our campaign against the Narendra Modi Government. But our leaders and cultural workers are being attacked. Even Lok Sabha candidates are not spared,” Dey told indianexpress.com.
Both Congress and CPI (M) have raised slogans against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The poll issues of both opposition political parties revolve around misrule, violence, unemployment, fundamentalism and an appeal to save democracy. The parties feel they will win if free and fair elections are held.
However, the ruling BJP thinks otherwise. “People have thrown out CPI (M) from power after 25 years of tyranny. Congress has no acceptability among people either. Both BJP candidates will win with a huge margin,” said BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya.
The state BJP has got 10 poll songs from national cultural front and 4 songs which were produced locally. Apart from these, there are also a battery of street drama scripts, jingles, posters and slogans being used during campaign to attract people. There is also a significant use of Hindi this year. BJP is focusing its poll campaign on welfare activities of the Narendra Modi government and has appealed to the people to bring back the ‘Chowkidaar’.
Meanwhile, BJP’s ruling alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) has staged candidates against them this year though calling it a “friendly fight”. IPFT general secretary Mevar Kumar Jamatia said the BJP could have never made it to the Government hadn’t IPFT formed an alliance with them.
IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said they have over 100 poll songs ready, all in Kokborok, the language used by most of the 19 tribal communities in the state. “We could not arrange anything else in our cultural front since there is not much time, nor resources. We are getting good response so far,” Debbarma informed. (Courtesy: IE)