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After setback in Tripura bypolls, CPIM and TMC reflect on what went wrong

The statement also said the party believes "democratic people" would take "lessons" from incidents that transpired in the bypolls and build extensive unity for the future.

People wait in a queue at a polling station in Agartala. (Photo: PTI)

After the Tripura bypolls results were announced Sunday, while the CPI(M) accused the ruling BJP of misusing its powers, the TMC reviewed what held it back.

The state unit of the CPI(M), reacting to the Tripura bypoll results, said the results were engineered with coercion, money and muscle power and misuse of administration.

“Judging from the condition going on since the last 51 months in Tripura, the by-election results in four assembly segments aren’t as per expectation. The BJP misused administration and used money, muscle power etc. Voters couldn’t cast a mandate in many areas due to threats, intimidation, and violence perpetrated by the BJP. Genuine voters were obstructed from casting their votes,” said a statement issued by CPI(M) office secretary Haripada Das.

The statement also said the party believes “democratic people” would take “lessons” from incidents that transpired in the bypolls and build extensive unity for the future.

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Meanwhile, TMC Tripura unit president Subal Bhowmik said they have accepted the mandate but said his party’s poor performance in bypolls does not reflect the general mindset of the electorate.

Speaking to reporters, he claimed voters wanted to “consolidate” opposition votes to make sure the BJP didn’t get an advantage due to a fractured opposition mandate. Bhowmik claimed electors made the “right decision” by taking this call but added that such a move happened due to by-polls, where the government wouldn’t be changed anyway.

“The results match voter character of Tripura. In 2018, Congress went down to 1.5 per cent, rose to 27 per cent in 2019 and reduced again to less than 1 per cent in civic polls. We believe this poll dynamics will change again next year and it will go in favour of TMC,” said Bhowmik.


However, the Trinamool Congress leader admitted his party had “organisational weaknesses” and had some “issues of continuity” in an oblique reference to the TMC’s focus on Goa after the party’s moderate results in civic body polls last year.

“We had some organisational weaknesses, we had some problems of continuity. We could not build a vote bank though we have the support of the people. When they saw massive violence, they thought they would give a mandate in favour of defeating the BJP. but it wouldn’t stay the same in 2023. Future of the TMC is bright,” claimed Bhowmik.

The ruling BJP won three assembly seats and the Congress bagged one in the high-stakes bypolls in Tripura. Chief Minister Manik Saha won the bypoll to the crucial Town Bardowali seat against Ashish Kumar Saha of the Congress. Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman defeated his nearest rival Ashok Sinha of the BJP in Agartala.

First published on: 26-06-2022 at 06:30:38 pm
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