Updated: October 3, 2018 9:32:51 pm
Tripura’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swept the three-tier panchayat by-elections with a clear margin, even as the Congress called the whole poll process a farcical exercise. Speaking to reporters, State Election Commissioner G Kameswara Rao said that the counting of votes took place on Wednesday.
“No incident of violence was reported from anywhere. Counting was completed in a peaceful manner,” Rao said in Agartala today. He informed that BJP candidates emerged victorious in 113 out of 130 gram panchayat seats which went to polls. The BJP has also won five out of the seven panchayat samiti seats, he added.
Ruling alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) won on nine gram panchayat seats.
Meanwhile, opposition CPI (M) and Congress won 4 seats each in the gram panchayat bodies. Re-polling would be held on October 5 in two gram panchayat seats in Khowai Rural Development Block of Khowai district, 60 kms from Agartala, the State Election Commissioner said. Results for the re-polled seats would be announced on October 7.
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The State Election Commission had announced by-polls in 3,207 seats of different gram panchayat bodies, 161 seats of panchayat samiti and 18 seats in zilla parishads on September 1. The by-polls became necessary after a large number of elected public representatives resigned from these local self government bodies.
However, BJP won uncontested in over 96 per cent of these seats and only 130 gram panchayat seats went to polls along with five seats of the panchayat samiti bodies. Polling was held on September 30 with a voter turnout of 81.03 per cent.
BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha welcomed the by-election results and said that people spontaneously exercised their voting rights due to absence of CPI (M)’s party whip. CPI (M) enforced its favourable mandate on people which was responsible for the communist party’s long winning spree in all elections over last 25 years, Sinha claimed.
He also said that both Congress and CPI (M) had lost their organization due to desertion of supporters and couldn’t compete therefore. Tripura Pradesh Congress vice president Tapas Dey, on the other hand, stated that BJP has secured landslide victory with “muscle power”.
“They have fallen out with their own ally IPFT during the by-poll process. There were several clashes between the two alliance partners. This poll process was a farcical exercise,” Dey said. CPI (M) spokesperson Goutam Das couldn’t be reached for comments.
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