The BJP had emerged as the main rival of the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Front in Tripura, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here today.
"There are two political spaces in the state -- the non-Left and the Left. The BJP has filled up the entire non-Left space...It has emerged as the main contender of the CPI(M)," he told reporters, after releasing his party's Tripura poll manifesto -- 'Vision Document Tripura-2018'.
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The saffron party has joined hands with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) to take on the Left Front in the February 18 Assembly election in the north-eastern state.
The finance minister also claimed that the Left Front would meet the same fate in Tripura as it did in West Bengal.
"The CPI(M)'s terror tactics in West Bengal had led to hatred among the people there, resulting in its downfall. Even in the (recently held) bypolls, the party ended up in the third or fourth position," he said.
Tripura had remained "backward" as the CPI(M) never welcomed private capital in the state, Jaitley said, adding, "As long as the party continues to use the Marxist jargon against private capital, there is no chance of development here."
Talking about his party's manifesto, the Union minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had always worked for the country's progress and that was the reason the BJP had focused on development projects in its vision document for Tripura.
"After forming the government in Tripura, the BJP will set up special economic zones (SEZs) for different sectors like food processing, bamboo, IT textiles," Jaitley said.
The results of the Tripura polls will be announced on March 3.
The Congress had fielded candidates for all the 60 seats in the state, but one of them withdrew his nomination later.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which had faced a jolt last year in the state after six of its MLAs joined the BJP, has formed an alliance with the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) and the National Conference of Tripura for the upcoming election.
The Mamata Banerjee-led party has fielded candidates from 24 constituencies in the north-eastern state.
(With PTI inputs)