The Left Front returns to power for a fifth straight term since 1993
The CPI(M) led the Left Front to power in Tripura with a steamroller majority. The Congress managed to bag 10 seats, down from 11, while its alliance partners, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) and Nationalist Council of Twipra (NCT), drew a blank.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and CPI(M) stalwarts Badal Choudhury, Anil Sarkar, Manik Dey, Tapan Chakraborty and Jitendra Choudhury were re-elected with comfortable margins. Badal Choudhury defeated his Congress rival by 12,000 votes. Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura since 1998, won for the fourth time from Dhanpur constituency with a margin of over 6,000 votes. PCC president Sudip Roy Burman and Leader of the Opposition Ratan Lal Nath retained their seats, but party MLAs — Subal Bhowmik, Monoj Kanti Deb and Surajit Datta — lost. Samir Ranjan Burman, former Chief Minister and father of the current PCC chief, lost.
The defeat of INPT’s lone MLA and its president Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawl at Ambassa came as a surprise. The Congress won Karamchara, reserved for tribals, and Barjala, reserved for Scheduled Castes. The Congress candidate from Barjala, Jitendra Sarkar, was the speaker of the State Assembly and a CPI(M) deserter.
The Left Front had its surprises, too, with RSP Minister Joy Govinda Debbaroy losing from Radhakishorepur constituency. The lone RSP and Forward Block candidates lost, but one of two CPI candidates won.
The counting got underway amidst massive security arrangements. The election commission appointed 60 central observers to oversee the counting process after a record turnout of 94 per cent.
This is the fifth consecutive victory for the Left Front in Tripura.