The BJP today asked the Election Commission to appoint micro-observers in poll-bound Tripura from outside the CPI(M)-ruled state and deploy maximum paramilitary forces, alleging that an atmosphere of fear was prevailing there.
Only those government officials should be given election duty, who give a declaration that they are not members of any political party or any trade union affiliated to any political outfit, said Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP leader and convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), which is part of the BJP-led NDA. "Micro-observers should be from outside the state because CPI(M) has started giving membership to the state government employees in Tripura. The elections cannot be held with the Left party members inside the booth," Sarma told reporters outside the Election Commission (EC) office.
Sarma, who is also a minister in the BJP government in Assam, claimed that more than 60 party workers were killed by the ruling CPI(M) in Tripura and there was an atmosphere of fear and threat in the state. "We (BJP) have requested the Election Commission to deploy maximum paramilitary forces in the state to ensure free and fair elections in the state," he said. The Left party has been ruling Tripura since 1993. The state has traditionally witnessed a two-way fight between the Congress and the CPI(M). This time the BJP is trying to emerge as the principal opposition to the ruling Left party. Tenure of the 60-member Tripura Assembly ends in March this year.