The CPI(M) on Friday alleged "large-scale rigging" in the byelections to Tripura's Boxanagar and Dhanpur assembly constituencies and demanded fresh polls, questioning the BJP's victory from the two seats.
In a statement, the CPI(M) polit bureau said the results of the byelections in Boxanagar and Dhanpur, as declared by the chief electoral officer, "vindicate the apprehensions raised by the Left Front and justifies the demand for countermanding them and holding fresh polls under strict supervision".
"In (the) Boxanagar constituency, the BJP won securing 89 per cent of the votes polled and 71 per cent in (the) Dhanpur constituency. This is unprecedented in the state's history of elections," the CPI(M) said.
It further alleged, "After having lost the Boxanagar seat to the CPI(M) in the February elections, it is impossible for the BJP to secure 89 per cent (of the) votes except through large-scale rigging." According to the Election Commission, the BJP's Tafajjal Hossain won the Boxanagar seat -- which has around 66 per cent voters from the minority community -- by a margin of 30,237 votes. Hossain got 34,146 votes while Mizan Hossain of the CPI (M) bagged 3,909 votes.
In Dhanpur, which has a significant tribal population, the BJP's Bindu Debnath won by a margin of 18,871 votes. Debnath got 30,017 votes while Kaushik Chanda of the CPI(M) secured 11,146 votes.
The CPI(M) said, "These elections have been reduced to a mockery with large-scale rigging by the BJP, in connivance with the administration and police. The polit bureau of the CPI(M) reiterates its demand that these elections be countermanded and fresh polls be conducted under strict supervision." The CPI(M) boycotted Friday's counting, alleging large-scale rigging during the polls and inaction by the Election Commission. The two seats witnessed a direct contest between the ruling BJP and the CPI(M). The Tipra Motha and the Congress -- the other two opposition parties -- did not field their candidates.
The bypolls, held on Tuesday, recorded an average turnout of 86.50 per cent. The votes were counted at the Sonamura Girls' School amid tight security.
The BJP won the Dhanpur seat for the first time in the February assembly polls. The ruling party wrested the minority-dominated Boxanagar seat from the CPI(M) in a significant victory.
With these victories, the BJP's tally in the 60-member assembly increased to 33. Its ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, has one MLA while the Tipra Motha has 13. The CPI(M) has 10 legislators and the Congress three.
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