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Thursday, January 27, 2022

BJP bags landslide victory in Tripura civic polls, wins all 14 urban bodies

🔴 Trinamool Congress bagged the second highest number of votes after BJP in the Agartala Municipal Corporation.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: November 28, 2021 9:51:03 pm
Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party dance as they celebrate the party's initial lead during counting for the Tripura Municipal Corporation elections, in Agartala (PTI)

BJP has bagged a landslide victory in Tripura civic polls, winning all 14 urban bodies which went to polls on November 25. It made a clean sweep in 11 urban bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation.

Out of the 222 seats across 14 urban bodies that went to polls, BJP emerged victorious in 217.

CPI(M), which won in all the urban bodies in last civic body polls, has won in three seats across three urban bodies—Kailashahar and Ambassa Municipal Councils and Panisagar Nagar panchayat. Trinamool Congress, which has bagged the second highest number of votes after BJP in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC), has won a single seat in the Ambassa Municipal Council while Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore-led TIPRA Motha has won one seat.

With this, Agartala Municipal Corporation is without an Opposition for the first time.

Polls were held for 14 of 20 urban local bodies in the state on November 25. Of the total 324 municipal seats in the state, the BJP won 112 seats uncontested. The remaining 222 seats registered a healthy 81.54 per cent voter turnout.

Saying that BJP’s victory in the Tripura civic polls was a message from the voters in favour of “good governance”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “The people of Tripura have given a clear message – that they prefer politics of good governance. I would like to thank them for the unequivocal support to @BJP4Tripura. These blessings give us greater strength to work for the welfare of each and every person in Tripura.”

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said this was a “historic” victory and the people of Tripura have given a “sothik jobaab” (apt answer) by casting votes which ensured that BJP won 98.50 per cent of the seats.

“Those who tried to malign Tripura should see…people from majority and minority communities together voted in favour of development under Narendra Modiji,” Deb said. Without naming Trinamool Congress, Deb said that the poll mandate was a reply to those who tried to “insult Tripura” and “demean it by conspiracies”.

Speaking to reporters after the results were announced, Tripura ICA minister Sushanta Chowdhury said people voted against “conspiracies hatched by Trinamool Congress and CPI(M)” that were trying to “disturb the peace and tranquillity of the state”.

“There were many conspiracies hatched by CPI(M) and TMC. With this mandate the people have proved that even though Tripura is a small state, dignity is something we hold dear,” he said.

He asked all victorious councillors and corporators of his party to work closely with people and garner public support for the party ahead of the Assembly polls. Chowdhury also warned his party workers against indulging in “overenthusiasm” and said celebrating their victory should not be a “cause for sadness” for others.

Thanking voters for their support, Bengal Trinamool Congress general secretary Kunal Ghosh tweeted, “Tripura: @abhishekaitc’s so-called’ silent revolution ‘is working. Two months of organization @AITCofficial..”

He claimed that TMC got “+/20% votes” despite the “attacks and lawsuits” on their party in the state. “The BJP would not have existed if there had been free and fair voting. We are excited. People are responding. Thanks. The next work begins. 2023 will be for us,” he tweeted in Bengali.

Speaking to reporters, TMC leader Rajib Bhattacharjee claimed that democracy was being “murdered” in Tripura and his party has emerged as the “main opposition” later.

“Despite so much rigging, booths being looted, violence, false voting and attack on our supporters, the results show TMC could not be entirely stopped. BJP did scientific rigging during the polls. Despite that, Trinamool got 24 per cent of the votes on an average across all the urban bodies. TMC received the second highest number of votes.”

In 2018, Trinamool Congress had secured less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the Assembly elections.

Tripura TMC convener Subal Bhowmik said, “This was not an election where the government could change. It had a different dynamic. The results show that a TMC votebank has been formed in Tripura and this will take us to victory in 2023.”

People wait to cast their votes at a polling station during the Tripura Municipal Corporation elections, in Agartala (PTI)

Tripura Left Front convener Narayan Kar alleged that the Tripura civic polls were reduced to a “mockery” as state election commission and the police “consciously failed” to conduct free and fair elections.

“It is clear that (we) have to be more active in the coming days to rescue Tripura from the incessant attacks on democracy, election processes and people’s voting rights under BJP rule. The Left Front will continue its work closely with the people,” Kar said.

The Left Front had earlier said it would boycott counting in five urban bodies, including Agartala, unless the polls were countermanded and fresh elections held there. The Left parties had also sought repolling in parts of three other civic bodies.

A three-tier security arrangement with personnel from the Central Armed Police Force, Tripura Police and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) was made at the counting centres to maintain law and order. No untoward incident has been reported till latest reports came in.

The polling itself on Thursday was accompanied by charges of vote malpractices by the TMC and CPI(M), both of whom had demanded re-polling in various municipalities. The ruling BJP however, had dismissed these charges. The TMC also moved the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a probe by a court-monitored panel into the alleged large-scale violence during the municipal polls in Tripura.

On the polling day, the Supreme Court directed the Union Home Ministry to provide additional two companies of any Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) “as expeditiously as possible” to ensure that voting for local body polls in the state remained free and fair.

Section 144 imposed at Teliamura Municipal Council 

Meanwhile, the local administration imposed restrictions on public movement under Section 144 at Teliamura Municipal Council on Sunday afternoon after a group of unidentified people reportedly attacked a Trinamool Congress candidate at Ompi Chowmuhani.

A cop told indianexpress.com that a team of TMC candidates and polling agents were being escorted to their homes by a police team when a group of unidentified people attacked them.

“The miscreants broke the glass pane of our vehicles. Three persons sustained minor injuries. We had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the mob. As a result, six people and three cops were injured,” the cops said.

The local administration later imposed Section 144 till further orders in the entire Teliamura municipality area.

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