Monday, 30th October 2017

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BJP bags Tripura’s twin seats

The seats were previously held by the CPM, which won them for 6 consecutive times in the 2014 elections

By Tanmoy Chakraborty in Agartala
  • Published 24.05.19, 2:08 AM
  • Updated 24.05.19, 2:08 AM
  • a min read
BJP supporters take out a bike rally in Agartala on Thursday. Picture by Tanmoy Chakraborty

The lotus has bloomed for the first time in Tripura’s two Lok Sabha constituencies, West and East (ST) amid the Opposition’s allegation of violence triggered by the BJP.

The seats were previously held by the CPM, which won them for six consecutive times in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Tripura West BJP candidate Pratima Bhowmik defeated her nearest Congress rival Subal Bhowmik by 226,642 votes and Rebati Tripura defeated his nearest Congress rival Maharajkumari Pragya Deb Burman by 190,331 votes. The results, however, have not been declared officially.

Both the sitting CPM MPs, Shankar Prasad Dutta and Jitendra Chowdhury, who contested from West and East seats respectively, were in third position.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said it was a historic victory for the party and attributed it to people’s love for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah’s strategy and the BJP government’s report card in the last five years.

Both the Congress and the CPM alleged violence and assaults on Thursday.

PCC president Pradyot Kishore Manikya Deb Burman posted on Facebook: “I have never seen such post-poll violence that I am witnessing now in Tripura. Our workers are being beaten and properties destroyed and family members being threatened. In a democracy, some win and some lose but to allow criminals and goons to run riot in this day and age is a sad state of affairs.”

CPM Tripura West candidate Shankar Prasad Dutta wrote to returning officer Vikas Singh: “The situation inside and outside counting halls is not normal. Our election agents are being beaten up in front of police. It’s impossible for us to continue in the counting process. In this situation, we are withdrawing from the counting process.” He told reporters that 43 party election agents were injured in his constituency on Thursday.

Tripura Left Front convener Bijan Dhar said they accepted the mandate in Tripura East but believed that the polls were rigged in Tripura West.

In the afternoon, two vehicles, including a Congress leader’s car, were set ablaze at Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district, 30km from here.

Bishalghar sub-divisional officer Rober Darlong confirmed that vehicles were set ablaze around 3pm.

Tripura inspector-general of police Puneet Rastogi said, “Sporadic incidents were reported in the state today, but nothing major.”