Election of Tripura Legislative Assembly is going to be held on 16th February 2023 amidst a severe political, economic, social, and cultural crisis. Being disgusted with the long 25 years at a stretch pro-capitalist, anti-people, non-left rule of the CPI (M), people were determined to oust them from power. Congress, then in opposition, was too weak to be considered as viable bourgeois contender to the CPI (M). The BJP was then having an insignificant presence in the state. But with CPI (M) having been thoroughly discredited and the Congress too depleted in strength, the ruling bourgeoisie extended its full backing to the BJP, who already proved their unstinted loyalty to the ruling class. Empowered by class backing, the BJP achieved a landslide victory and formed government. With the BJP in power, a sizeable number of the CPI (M), Congress and even TMC (which sought to make foray into the state by engineering defection from the Congress) workers and leaders switched to it. But within no time, the downright anti-people, arch communal fascist autocratic face of the BJP was unmasked. Sensing growing anti-BJP feeling among the masses, the BJP top brass replaced its chief minister in May 2022. But, as expected, that hardly made any difference. Besides soaring price and unemployment, rising drug-liquor addiction and atrocities against women, declining education and healthcare facilities, the common people of Tripura have been under constant threat because of the bike-riding goons of the BJP in extortion, destroying house and property of the political opposition with impunity. In fact, this criminal brigade has unleashed a reign of terror making a mockery of democracy. Alongside, the BJP have been making every possible effort to divide people along religious-ethnic-linguistic lines.
Secondly, a large part of Tripura is dominated by the 19 different groups of tribal people who faced immense torture from the moneyed gentry during British rule. Even when the CPI (M) was in power, they did nothing for economic development of the tribal masses. Instead of unleashing a process through which these backward tribals could come to the mainstream of life, freely mix with other ethnic-linguistic communities and thereby could be enlightened, the CPI (M) leaders only viewed them as vote bank and hence worked towards pushing them towards nurturing narrow sectarian ethnic mindset. Taking advantage of that, a section of the regional bourgeoisie picked up some aspirant people from within these tribal masses, tutored them in reaping electoral benefits by flaunting their tribal identity among their fellow brothers and sisters and thus share power with established vote-based parties. It is in course of this that tribal outfits like Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (abbreviated as TIPRA; also Tipra Motha) have been formed and they are projecting themselves as messiahs of the downtrodden tribal people. IPFT had hitherto been in alliance with the BJP. But now it is learnt that they have initiated a ‘‘close-door meeting’’ on a possible merger with the TIPRA led by erstwhile royal and former Congress leader Pradyot Manikya Debbarman. On the other hand, the CPI (M) discarding our repeated request to forge a strong struggling left alliance, have now found a dependable ally in the Congress. So, they have entered into an alliance with the Congress who was long rejected by the people for their misrule and have also been desperately trying to woo TIPRA to their side knowing full well that TIPRA is a separatist force claiming formation of Tipraland by bifurcating Tripura. On the other hand, TIPRA is stated to be pursuing the proverbial ‘the dog in the manger policy’ and trying to negotiate unity with the BJP.
In the situation, it was necessary to counter the menace of communal BJP by developing a united powerful sustained organized movement of the people over the burning problems of life under a united left leadership. In that event, this election could also be fought by the united left as part of that movement. But as already stated, the CPI (M), in its desperateness to get back power pending which they find their existence at stake, are also keeping their doors open for TIPRA. And being denied ticket, a CPI (M) MLA and a former Congress State President have switched to the BJP. Power is what matters for them all, not ideology or principle.
Naturally, in this tug-of-war for power, toiling masses have nothing to expect but prolongation as well as escalation of their misery and penury. While all others are busy in working electoral arithmetic, the SUCI(C) firmly holding aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought and struggling militant leftism are fighting the election alone in five seats based on its own organizational strength since revolutionaries need to participate in bourgeois election upholding revolutionary line till the time people are consciously disillusioned about bourgeois vote-based power politics and ready for revolutionary overthrow of ruthlessly exploitative capitalism, the root of all evils.