Patriotic songs, poems dominate Tripura poll campaign

February 21st, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by admin  

By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, Feb 21 (IANS) Patriotic and modern songs, street plays, poems and colourful decorations using small trees were the highlights in the run-up to Saturday’s assembly elections in Tripura. Both the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the main opposition Congress have organised poll campaigns using colourfully decorated vehicles draped with party flags and festoons.

Tripura Sanskriti Samannay Kendra, the literary and cultural front of the CPI-M, composed modern and folk songs, which criticised the Congress’ failure across the country and its alliance with the tribal based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT).

On the other hand, Congress is trying to woo voters using old patriotic songs of Lata Mangeshkar and other renowned singers.

“Our campaign with the versatile cultural performance has largely impacted the minds of the people and we have succeeded in winning the hearts of voters by using cultural presentation,” said state Information and Cultural Minister Anil Sarkar.

Sarkar, who is also a renowned poet and writer, is seeking re-election to the assembly as CPI(M) nominee from the Pratapgarh constituency in west Tripura for a record eighth time.

He has himself composed several folk songs in a bid to connect with the people.

All the party booth offices of Congress here and other parts of the state are echoing with Bankim Chandra’s ‘Vande Mataram’ song.

“We believe in true patriotism and that’s why our party is using patriotic songs during the poll campaign,” said Ratan Lal Nath, leader of the state Congress.

The Tripura prevention of Defacement of property (Amendment) Act 1998 is now in force. Also, the Election Commission has asked the political parties not to use any static assets and buildings besides government properties as part of their poll campaign. So the candidates have put up a large number of party flags on small trees, bamboo groves and banana plants on the roadside.

Lanes and by-lanes are also decorated with flags of Left parties, Congress and others.

“Poll fever has gripped the entire state even as the official machinery and security forces are busy to ensure the elections are held in a free and fair manner,” said Chief Electoral Officer G.S.G. Ayyangar.

In all 313 candidates, including 31 women and 64 independents, are testing their electoral fortune in Saturday’s election to the 60-seat Tripura assembly.

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