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Tripura election results: Left govt ousted as BJP surges in northeast

The BJP and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, were together leading in 39 out of 59 constituencies for which trends of results were available. The BJP on its own was ahead in 33 seats, two more than the half-way mark, while its ally was leading in seven. The IPFT has already bagged one seat.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2018 15:19 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, Agartala
Tripura election result,Election results,Election Commission of India
A supporter of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reacts as others apply colour powder on her face while they celebrate after learning of the initial poll results of Tripura state assembly elections, in Agartala on March 3, 2018.(REUTERS)

In a saffron surge in the northeast, the BJP put up a spectacular show in Tripura on Saturday, ending 25 years of the Left rule, and was looking to formation of coalition governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya in the face of hung verdicts.

The BJP and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, were together leading in 39 out of 59 constituencies for which trends of results were available. The BJP on its own was ahead in 33 seats, two more than the half-way mark, while its ally was leading in seven. The IPFT has already bagged one seat.

In Tripura, the BJP which had no MLAs in the outgoing assembly and had polled just 1.5 per cent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, recorded a scintillating performance securing over 42 per cent of votes in the February 18 elections.

The Left Front, which had 50 seats in the last elections, was ahead in just 18 seats. The CPI-M-CPI alliance has polled over 44 per cent of votes, about six per cent less than the last elections. The CPI-M alone has polled 43.3 per cent, one per cent higher than the winning BJP.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who has been heading the Left Front government for the last 20 years, was ahead in Dhanpur constituency.

The BJP’s leading candidates included state party President Biplab Kumar Deb (Banamalipur), who could be the next Chief Minister of the state. The other winners are Sudip Roy Barman (Agartala), Ratanlal Nath (Mohanpur), A. Rampada Jamatia (Bagma), Dilip Kumar Das (Barjala), Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl (Karamchara), Ashish Kumar Saha (Bordowali), Ratan Chakraborty (Khayerpur), Atul Debbarma (Krishnapur) and Sushanta Chowdhury (Majlishpur).

IPFT’s leading candidates included Narendra Chandra Debbarma (Takarjala), Mevar Kumar Jamatia (Asharambari) and Prashanta Debbarma (Ramchandraghat).

“We are happy with the trends in Tripura where the BJP looks like forming a government with 40 or more seats,” BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav told reporters in Agartala.

He conceded that the CPI-M gave a good fight but people voted for change to throw up “a revolutionary verdict, a historic verdict”.

The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing assembly, failed to even open its account this time. Many of its candidates may even lose their deposits.

Among the notable Left candidates trailing were sitting Tribal Welfare Minister Aghore Debbarma (Asharambari), Forest and Rural Development Minister Narensh Chandra Jamatia (Bagma), Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar (Khayerpur), Bijay Laxmi Sinha (Kamalpur), Samiran Malakar (Pabiachara), Manoranjan Debbarma (Mandai Bazar), Ratan Das (Ramnagar), Manindra Chandra Das (Kalyanpur-Promodnagar) and Chief Whip Basudeb Majumder (Belonia).

Among the Left Front’s leading candidates were Health and PWD Minister Badal Choudhury (Hrishamukh), Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty (Chandipur), Information, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha (Bishalgarh), Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sahid Chowdhury, Assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debbarma and Jail Minister Manindra Reang.

A total of 290 candidates, including 23 women of the ruling CPI-M, Communist Party of India, BJP and Congress and many independents, were in the fray.

Polling in Charilam (reserved for the tribals) was deferred to March 12 after CPI-M candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma died a week before the February 18 polls.

Over 92 per cent (excluding 50,700 postal ballots) of Tripura’s over 25 lakh voters cast their votes on February 18, setting a new record in India’s electoral history.

First Published: Mar 03, 2018 15:19 IST