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Left Front Govt to assume office on Monday

A CPI-M-led Left Front government headed by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is to assume office for the fourth consecutive term on Monday.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Agartala
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2008 03:56 PM IST

A Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government headed by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is to assume office for the fourth consecutive term on Monday.

Governor Dinesh Nandan Sahaya would administer the oath of office and secrecy to the 59-year-old Marxist leader and his council of ministers at a function at the Raj Bhavan in Agartala, an official said.

"Sarkar resigned on Friday night and I have asked him to continue in office till the alternative arrangement was made," Sahaya told IANS.

CPI-M-led Left Front on Friday pulled off an emphatic victory for a fourth consecutive term, winning 49 seats in the 60-member legislature and routing the main opposition Congress, which secured only 10 seats while. Its poll partner Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) bagged only one seat.

In the previous assembly election in 2003, the Left Front won in 41 seats followed by the Congress with 13 and its ally INPT with six.

The Left Front has been in power in Tripura since 1978, barring one term (1988-1993).

"Our party's result was most unanticipated. We shall analyse the result and why we have received a shocking drubbing," said Samir Ranjan Burman, Tripura Pradesh Congress chief.

Burman, a former chief minister, lost his Bishalgarh seat in west Tripura to CPI-M nominee Bhanulal Saha by a margin of 914 votes. He resigned from the Pradesh Congress President post on Saturday.

"Weak organisational network, differences between the party workers and leadership, mistrust of cross section of people, including government employees in the party are among the major factors for the party's debacle in the Feb 23 election," said Tapas Dey, Congress spokesman.

"The sweeping results of the Left Front were a reflection of the people's trust in the Left parties' efforts to bring peace and continue development in the northeastern state. This is a verdict of good governance by curbing militancy in the bordering state," said Gautam Das, CPI-M spokesman.

Three women, the highest number so far, were elected to the 10th Tripura assembly - all belong to CPI-M. The 60-member house will see 15 new faces, of which 12 are from the Left Front.

CPI-M lost two seats - Kamalpur in Dhalai district and Badarghat in West Tripura district - this time as Left Front ally Forward Bloc ate into its vote share. It fielded its own candidates in 12 constituencies for the first time following the dispute with the dominant partner over the share of seats.

The Congress candidates in the Kamalpur and Badarghat constituencies defeated state Handloom and Handicrafts Minister Bijoy Laxmi Sinha and sitting legislator Subrata Chakraboty respectively after Forward Bloc candidates took away the vote share of the CPI-M.

"Left Front this time has secured over 55 per cent votes, which is four percent higher than the last elections in 2003," Das said, refusing to comment on Forward Bloc.

Of the 20 seats reserved for tribals, 18 were bagged by CPI-M while one went to INPT and the Left party won all the seven seats reserved for Scheduled Castes.

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