India, April 11 -- In India's mainstream political imagination, Tripura is often on the periphery. This may stem from the tyranny of distance from the national Capital, and its location in the often-neglected Northeast, but the state's diverse social landscape, strategic location, and history makes it politically crucial. For long, the state's political history was marked by Left domination - and the presence of Manik Sarkar as a steady hand at the helm of governance. The Congress was the other pole in the state, but in 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sprung a surprise by sweeping the state polls in a remarkable victory. The Congress's political fortunes sank further when party chief and a member of the former royal family of the s...