CPI-M retains Tripura assembly seat for fourth successive time

Agartala, Feb 16 (IANS) Tripura’s ruling CPI-M on Tuesday retained by a huge margin the Amarpur assembly seat where voting took place in a bypoll on Saturday. The BJP edged out the main opposition Congress to take the second spot.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the dominant partner of the ruling Left Front, won from Amarpur for the fourth consecutive time.

“CPI-M candidate Parimal Debnath defeated his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rival Ranjit Das by 10,597 votes. The CPI-M secured 20,355 votes, the BJP got 9,758 votes while Congress’ Chanchal Dey bagged only 1,231 votes, securing fourth position,” Additional chief electoral officer Debashish Modak told IANS.

The nominee of the tribal-based party Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, which has been agitating since 2013 to carve out a separate state of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, Pabitra Mohon Jamatia bagged 1,623 votes.

Reacting on the by-poll results, CPI-M state secretary and central committee member Bijan Dhar told IANS: “The voters supported the CPI-M due to the good governance of the Left Front. Our victory in Tripura will continue in future elections too as our party and government are struggling for peace, development and ethnic integration.”

“We must be alert about the situation in which BJP managed second position in the elections. Congress’ bankrupt politics took the party to the fourth position in the elections,” Dhar said just before leaving for New Delhi where he would attend the party’s central committee meeting beginning Wednesday.

BJP state unit president Biplab Deb said: “BJP could have won the elections if we got some more time to reach out to all the voters in the constituency. In the by-elections, the ruling parties always use government machinery to ensure their victory.”

“In the last assembly polls in 2013, BJP got 1.3 percent votes, this time we secured 30 percent of the valid votes polled. This proved that people want BJP to rule,” Deb told IANS by phone.

The by-election was necessitated following the resignation of CPI-M legislator Manoranjan Acharjee after he was alleged to have molested a girl.

Acharjee, who was elected in 2008 and again in 2013 from the constituency, has denied the charges. The CPI-M, however, expelled him on charges of wrongdoing.

“I was let down by a section of party men who do not tolerate me,” the 54-year-old leader told IANS.

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