According to the News X Jan Ki Baat opinion poll, Tripura is set to turn saffron after 25 years of communist rule. According to the opinion poll, the BJP-IPFT alliance is set to win 31-37 seats of the 60 seats in the state while the CPI(M) is predicted to win 23-29 seats.
There has been a strong undercurrent in favour of the BJP and the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling CPI(M) is could well prove to be fatal for the Manik Sarkar government. The BJP has been campaigning aggressively in the state in recent times and it is extremely likely that the bastion leftist rule could fall when results are declared on the 3rd of March.
40 top BJP leaders are expected to visit the northeastern state during the run-up to the polls on 18th February. Rajnath Singh visited the state over Saturday and Sunday and Narendra Modi will address two public meetings in on the 8th of February. Party President Amit Shah is expected to campaign for the BJP-IPFT alliance for a week and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj are also expected to campaign for the party.
However, the trump card for the BJP in Tripura might well prove to be the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. There is a large percentage of Bengalis in Tripura who belong to the Nath sampradaya, the sampradaya of Yogi Adityanath himself. Yogi Adityanath is expected to meet the leaders of the Nath sampradaya in the state before addressing rallies. Narendra Modi has huge popularity in Tripura and as the Mahant of Gorakhnath Math, Yogi Adityanath is expected to receive a rousing reception.
In spite of the favorable opinion polls, BJP will not take their feet off the peddle. The situation was similar in 2013 when the fight was between the Congress and the ruling CPI(M). Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Agartala during the campaign of the Congress Party and detractors of the Left party expected a change in government. But when results emerged, they were overwhelmingly in favor of the ruling CPI(M). The BJP will therefore be cautious and not underestimate the CPI(M).
BJP supporters in Tripura are nevertheless very optimistic of its chances. One neutral observer remarked on the possible change in government reflecting upon the campaign frenzy of 2013, “Last time, we only heard about the change in mood of the public. This time we can see it.”