The Congress MLAs from Tripura, who had briefly flirted with the TMC before joining the BJP, registered big wins in the Assembly polls.
In fact, all the turncoats garnered more votes in these polls as against the 2013 election when they were with the Congress. Former Leader of Opposition in Assembly Sudip Roy Barman, who led the exodus in 2016, won from Agartala for the fifth straight time by a margin of 7,382 votes.
The other MLAs who won are Leader of Opposition Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl (Karmachara), Dilip Sarkar (Badharghat), Ratan Lal Nath (Mohanpur), Pranajit Singha Roy (Radhakishorepur), Ashish Saha (Town Bordowali) and Biswabandhu Sen (Dharmanagar). Sarkar, whose winning margin was 643 votes in 2013, was ahead of his nearest rival by 5,448 votes this time. Nath won by 5,176 votes this time, as against 775 in 2013. Hrangkhawl extended his lead by around 6,000 votes while Singha Roy’s margin increased by over 4,000 votes. Saha and Sen’s margins rose by around 4,000 and 2,000 votes, respectively.
Former Congress leader Surajit Dutta, who crossed over to the BJP, lost in 2013 by a margin of only 65 votes. This time, he won from Ramnagar by a margin of 4,855 votes.
The two Congress MLAs who didn’t jump the ship — state party chief Birajit Sinha and former minister Gopal Roy — were handed a drubbing by the BJP. Sinha, with 7,778 votes, finished third in Kailashahar constituency, behind CPM’s Moboshar Ali, who won, and BJP’s Nitish De. Sinha had won the seat in the last election by a margin of 485 votes. Roy, who won from Banamalipur in 2013 by 5,762 votes, also finished third, behind state BJP President Biplab Deb and CPM’s Amal Chakraborty.