Tripura has once again shown communism matters in India. This 10,491 sq km state wedged into Bangladesh has also reaffirmed its faith in a 'homeless' chief minister.
The Congress had borrowed Trinamool Congress' slogan of 'poriborton' (change) to push for the end of Left Front rule in Tripura.
The change, instead, happened for its tribal ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), which was wiped out and the ruling Left Front, which won one more seat than the 49 of 2008.
The Congress' tally remained 10 seats in the 60-member House.
"This victory has reflected our performance on development and in ensuring peace and security. The Left Front has always endeavoured to fulfil realistic promises," said CPM secretary Bijon Dhar from Tripura capital Agartala.
Among the Left Front constituents, the CPM gained three seats while the Revolutionary Socialist Party failed to win any. The CPI held on to its lone seat.
"We accept the people's verdict, which has given us the message to reinvent ourselves," said Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president Sudip Roy Barman after the Left Front won the fifth successive assembly election.
The factors that have worked in the Left Front's favour are good governance - the UPA-ruled Centre acknowledges this - and optimum utilisation of beneficiary schemes, besides rural uplift through viable horticultural ventures.
Check on militancy through rehabilitation of rebels and improved relationship between indigenous tribes and non-tribal Bengalis are also said to have counted.
On top of this is CM Manik Sarkar's proletariat appeal. Most people in Tripura relate to his unassuming personality while officials and investors find him open to ideas.
"We must have done a few good things to earn this victory. It has increased our responsibility manifold," he said.