New Delhi: The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, is prepared for a fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in assembly elections due in Tripura this year, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Tuesday, adding: “Tripura will be the BJP’s Waterloo."
Separately, in a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley, Yechury criticized the central government’s decision to introduce electoral bonds which he said was a “regressive move" and a route for “dubious funds".
He said that the bonds will have an effect in the upcoming polls in Tripura as well.
“Tripura will be the BJP’s Waterloo. The unchallenged victory that they claim, will be their Waterloo. We are prepared for that. It is a battle against communal polarization," Yechury told reporters at the Indian Women’s Press Corp (IWPC) in New Delhi.
The CPM, which is now in power only in Tripura and Kerala, has enjoyed brute majority in the northeastern state. The party has been in power in Tripura for five consecutive terms with chief minister Manik Sarkar leading the party for four of them.
The term of the 60-member assembly in Tripura ends in March. However, poll dates are yet to be announced.
“We are prepared that there will be more unscrupulous things that will be done as the elections get closer. They (BJP) are looking to replace the Congress in the state and will be a major implication for future politics in the North-East which remains to be very unstable," Yechury said.
Criticizing the BJP for tying up with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), Yechury said the latter was an organization that originated in demands for the separation of Tripura and aligning with it would legitimize separatism.
Ahead of the elections, the BJP has been making inroads in the state. Addressing a rally in Tripura on Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah said that a regime change in Tripura had become inevitable as the CPM government had failed on many fronts.
Meanwhile, urging the centre to reconsider and review measures which have no scope for public scrutiny in electoral funding, Yechury in his letter to Jaitley said, “We hope this conversation on electoral funding leads to a deeper debate which your government must push on introducing much needed and much more comprehensive reforms."
Jaitley had said in a Facebook post on Sunday that the government is willing to consider all suggestions to further strengthen the cleansing of political funding in India.
Yechury said that a clean-up would not be possible without state funding of political parties and banning corporate funding.
“The measures you have introduced recently, I regret to say, have reversed any move towards transparent and clean political funding that may have been possible. Electoral bonds are a deeply regressive move," the CPM leader said.
He added that through electoral bonds the government has raised the prospects for allowing shell companies being set up with black money to fund political parties.