Why Left Front reaped a harvest in Tripura?

March 11th, 2008 - 6:02 pm ICT by admin  

(News Analysis)
By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, March 11 (IANS) India’s second longest running Left Front government, in Tripura, has returned to power thanks mainly to the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) rock-hard organisation. The state has witnessed unbroken rule by the CPI-M-led Left Front over the last 30 years - except for one term (1988-93) when the Congress formed a government in alliance with the tribal-based Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS).

With a resounding victory in the Feb 23 elections, the Front has assumed office for a fourth consecutive term, also due to its development agenda and near zero corruption in administration, politics analysts say.

The Front bagged 49 seats (eight more than the 2003 tally) in the 60-member legislature and routed the Congress, which got only 10 seats (three less than in 2003). The Congress partner, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), managed only one seat.

In a major boost, the CPI-M secured 19 out of 20 seats reserved for tribals.

“Solid organisation, less corruption in all level of administration and zero irregularities in higher level besides continued development are the basic advantage of the Left Front,” said Sekhar Datta, a political analyst.

He said: “There is no matching the rural development. Tripura is on the top among the north-eastern states in terms of development and transparency of the government.”

According to Election Commission statistics, the vote percentage of the Left Front has never gone down below 47 percent since 1978. Now it got 51.18 percent of the votes cast.

On the contrary, the opposition vote percentage has crossed 47 percent during the past three decades.

“If at all any ‘anti-incumbency factor’ prevails, this has been superseded by very less corruption, development, establishment of peace by curbing militancy and a solid party organisation of the ruling parties,” said Samiran Roy, another political commentator.

“More discipline, less corruption and better organised are the hallmark of Left parties in Tripura,” Roy remarked.

Official statistics revealed that Tripura’s per capita annual income was only Rs.534 when it attained statehood in 1972. The figure rose to Rs.24,706 in the last economic survey.

People living below the poverty line came down from 68 percent to 55 percent during the past eight years.

The literacy rate has increased to 81.4 percent in 2005, from 30.98 percent in 1972. The school dropout rate has also come down from 87.29 percent in 1972 to 61.08 percent in 2006.

“Whatever the deficiencies and failures of the Left Front, the opposition parties failed to fulfil the minimum level of people’s expectation from them,” said Tapas Dey, a former Congress legislator.

Tripura has 527 village councils in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas and 513 gram panchayats outside TTAADC areas. The Left governs 90 percent of them.

The politically important 30-seat TTAADC also has been ruled by the Left Front, which has a strong base among the tribals, which constitute one third of the state’s 3.5 million population.

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