The BJP seems to be making inroads in Tripura’s “Red Fort”, with the saffron party and its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura leading in 40 seats and garnering 49 per cent of the vote share. It is a huge turnaround for a party that had no MLAs in the 60-member House and had got only around 1.5 per cent votes in the assembly election five years back. The Left Front, which has been ruling Tripura for the past 25 years, is ahead in 19 seats.
The Congress, which over the years has played the second fiddle in the state, has failed to open its account and its candidates are set to lose their deposits. The loss of six MLAs, including its former state chief Sudip Roy Burman, to the BJP just before the elections seems to have hit the Congress hard.
BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb and party MLA Sudip Roy Burman were leading in their respective seats of Banamlipur and Agartala, while outgoing Chief Minister Manik Sarkar extended his lead to 2224 votes ahead of nearest rival BJP’s Pratima Bhowmik in Dhanpur constituency.
ALSO READ: Tripura Election Results 2018 LIVE UPDATES
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav called it a “revolutionary result” that was possible due to the hard work carried out by PM Modi and party workers. “This is a revolutionary result, all due to the blessings of Tripura Sundari Mata and people of the state and the hard work of PM Modi and party workers,” Madhav said.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi going all out to woo the north-eastern states through the government’s “Act East” policy and BJP’s pre-poll tie-up with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, the saffron party has made all the right noises in a state where its highest tally was six seats way back in 1998. It did not even open its account in the 2013 elections, where the Left Front won 50 seats.
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The election for Charilam constituency, which was countermanded due to the death of CPI(M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma, will be held on March 12. The counting is scheduled for March 15.
That the BJP is very serious in wresting power from the CPM is evident from the list of its star campaigners, like PM Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, who frequented the border state in the past six months. The BJP has relentlessly harped on the unemployment scenario in the state, which the CPM has made its citadel in the past 25 years. Even though Tripura has a literacy rate of nearly 97 per cent, almost 19.7 per cent of the 37 lakh population are unemployed, topping the list of states, according to the fifth employment-unemployment survey published in 2016 by the Labour Ministry.
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