AGARTALA: Expressing confidence of BJP getting full majority in the Tripura assembly elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the BJP is seeking a mandate to make the state prosperous in the next five years building on the development initiatives of the party-led government. Responding to questions about a possible hung assembly in Tripura, Amit Shah said that the constituencies in Tripura are small and "you will see that before 12PM on counting day, the BJP would have crossed the majority mark."
In an exclusive interview with ANI, he also said that BJP's 'ChaloPaltai' slogan in the last election was not a slogan to come to power in the state but to change the situation in Tripura.
The BJP created a record in 2018 by ousting the Left Front government which ruled Tripura for 35 years from 1978. The state will go to the polls on February 16 for its 60-member assembly.
The BJP is contesting 55 seats while its ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) is contesting the remaining five seats.
Shah said Congress and CPI-M joining hands shows that they are not in a position to defeat BJP on their own and "it is very good position" for the party.
"We will increase our seats and also our vote share in Tripura. Congress and the Communist party have come together as they have accepted that they can't defeat BJP alone. We will form government with full majority in the state," Shah.
"'ChaloPaltai' slogan was given to change the situation in Tripura, and we've done that. Earlier when the Left was in power in Tripura, government employees were paid under Pay Commission, but we implemented the 7th Pay commission in the state without increasing fiscal deficit. We eliminated violence in Tripura and also took strict action against drugs business from across the border in the state," he added.
Shah also outlined the "effective steps" of the state government to end violence in the border state and tackle the drug menace and added that these have sent a good message among people.
"There is no violence in Tripura. Time has come to make Tripura prosperous. The double-engine government has taken several steps to fulfil its promises," he said.
Asked about Manik Saha replacing Biplab Deb as Tripura Chief Minister in May last year and if it sent a signal of the BJP's central leadership controlling the state unit, Shah said that Deb is an MP and has several key organisational responsibilities in the central BJP.
He said changes are sometimes made if the national parties need leaders at the central level.
"I feel this is promotion, it should not be looked at from any other angle," he said.
Home Minister said that the BJP-led government has taken steps to strengthen local languages in the northeastern states and added that there is no big official programme in Delhi without participation of artists from the northeast.
He said under PM Modi's leadership, several steps have been taken for the welfare of people in the northeast.
"There is peace in the Northeast today, there has been peace agreement with several militant organisations.''
He referred to the agreement to end the Bru-Reang refugee crisis in Tripura and with National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).
Shah said PM Modi's initiatives have helped the tribal population.
"The tribal communities are experiencing development now. Today, we have the first tribal President in the country. The benefits being given to poor families are also being extended to the tribal community without any discrimination. They realize that they were misled earlier"
Shah said before the year 2024, all state capitals in the Northeast region will get rail and air connectivity and this is not a small achievement.
"Nearly over 8,000 cadres of militant outfits have surrendered arms and joined the mainstream. The northeast was known for blockade, protests, bomb explosions and insurgency. Today roads are being built there, airports are being built. Where there was one airport in a state like Tripura, we are building a second here. The Prime Minister has undertaken various developmental projects for the northeast region," he said.
On Karnataka, Shah said the party will come back to power with full majority.
"The BJP will form its government in Karnataka with a full majority. I have seen the pulse of the people and the popularity of PM Modi. The BJP will get a huge mandate," he said.
Answering another query on some major states going to the polls this year, he said BJP is strong in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and will win all four.
"We repeated our governments in Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. We will repeat our government in Tripura also," he said answering a query. Asked about JD(S) accusing BJP of dynastic politics, he said there are people who are second or third-generation politicians in the BJP also but it is not that the party chief will be from such a family only, or the entire family will become an MP or an MLA.
"What kind of comparison is this? You have finished the entire democratic system," he said. "Even the people of Mandya are now shifting from dynastic parties and accepting BJP's politics of development. This is a good sign for Karnataka," he said.
Shah, who visited Puttur in Karnataka and inaugurated 'Bharat Mata Mandir', said he welcomes any allegation made against him regarding the visit in the poll-bound state. When asked if the BJP has begun a campaign of nationalism in the state, Amit Shah said he welcomed such allegations.
"I accept and welcome all the allegations if they are levelled against me for going to the Bharat Mata Mandir," he said.
He said the place has pictures of Tantya Tope, Savarkar and also Param Vir Chakra recipient Lance Naik Albert Ekka. "I thank the trust which made it."
Karnataka is expected to go for polls in the first half of this year.
Polling for the Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly polls will be held on February 27. The counting of votes in the two states along with Tripura will take place on March 2.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android