| A deserted Congress Bhawan in Kohima on Friday after the Assembly election results were declared on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Agartala, March 1: Tripura’s re-elected chief minister Manik Sarkar and his new cabinet will be sworn in on Wednesday at Raj Bhavan in a simple ceremony and the Left Front victory rally will be held the next day.
A final decision was taken at a meeting of the Left Front constituents, held in CPM party headquarters in Agartala. The Left Front has proposed 3pm as the time for the swearing-in ceremony and Thursday has been chosen for the victory rally because no exams are scheduled that day.
“According to rules, Tripura cannot have more than 12 members in the cabinet,” a CPM leader said. He said there might be minor readjustments in the allocation of portfolios to reduce the burden of some senior and ailing ministers.
Manik Sarkar — who will be chief minister for a record fourth consecutive term in Tripura — thanked and congratulated the people of the state for giving such a massive mandate to the Left Front.
“It is a positive mandate in favour of peace and development. There were attempts to mislead and confuse people with reckless promises, but the politically conscious and mature electorate of the state saw through the game and reposed their trust in the Left Front again,” Sarkar said. But “defeat and victory are inalienable parts of life” and everybody should co-operate with the new government in maintaining peace and harmony in Tripura, he added.
Sarkar said the Left Front’s victory would strengthen and stimulate the Left movement in the entire country and his new government will work with “more responsibility and dedication.”
All five women candidates nominated by the CPM, including social welfare minister Bijita Nath, have come out as winners. This will be the highest representation of women in the Tripura Assembly at any time.
The BJP has seen a slight increase in its vote share, but none of its 50 candidates could win.
“We have decided the winners in six assembly constituencies. In the Kadamtala-Kurti seat of North Tripura district, our candidate Arijit Nath secured the second highest number of votes. We have also made an impact at Barjala, Badharghat and Ramnagar seats in Agartala town, Kailasahar seat in Unakoti district and Kanchanpur (ST) seat in north Tripura district,” said Sudheendra Dasgupta, state BJP president.
He said BJP’s vote share has “more than doubled” this time from a paltry 1.25 per cent in 2008. “Actually we hoped to win the Kurti-Kadamtala seat but this did not happen. We will, however, rapidly increase our strength because the people of the state are frustrated with the Congress,” Dasgupta said.
Women candidates have set a record of sorts in the just-concluded Assembly elections. Of the 249 candidates, the CPM nominated five women candidates, the BJP nominated another five and the Congress nominated four. This put the total number of female candidates at only 14. But a