Agartala, June 20 (PTI): Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee on Monday urged electors to prevent a split in anti-BJP votes in the upcoming Tripura assembly by-polls by exercising their franchise in favour of the Mamata Banerjee-led party instead of “wasting their votes” on Congress and CPI(M).
The TMC national general secretary, who was in Agartala to campaign for party candidates in the by-elections to four assembly constituencies scheduled on June 23, alleged that Tripura has one of the highest unemployment rates at 18 per cent as per CMIE data, and reports the highest number of incidents of political violence in the Northeast region.
“If this situation continues, the unemployment problem will never be addressed and there will be no investment in Tripura,” Banerjee told reporters.
“If you want to bring a change, you will have to vote for TMC in the upcoming by-elections. You must avoid voting for CPI(M) and Congress, as exercising your franchise in their favour would mean wasting your democratic right,” he said.
The Lok Sabha MP said that even if BJP secures 40 per cent of the votes, the remaining 60 per cent will go to the opposition’s kitty.
“This 60 per cent anti-BJP vote will mean nothing if it gets divided among the opposition. Hence, I appeal to everyone to vote for TMC,” he said.
Banerjee alleged that the ruling BJP has unleashed “terror tactics” to scare voters ahead of the by-polls.
“Two of our candidates – Panna Deb (Agartala) and Sanhita Bhattacharya (Town Bardowali) were attacked by BJP goons. Democracy has been throttled in Tripura,” he said.
“I urge voters to exercise their democratic right fearlessly. The by-elections are not a battle between BJP and TMC or other parties. It is a fight between the ruling dispensation and the masses,” he added.
At least 22 candidates, including chief minister Manik Saha, are in the fray for the upcoming by-elections to four assembly constituencies.
The bypolls to the four assembly segments – Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar – will be held on June 23.