Tripura’s Left Front sweeps Village Committee elections

Agartala, Feb 28 (IANS) Tripura’s ruling Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist on Sunday swept the Village Committee (VC) polls, winning 520 of the 587 committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

The VCs, falling in areas under the politically significant TTAADC, are equivalent to Gram Panchayats outside the council areas.

The Left parties, which have a substantial base among the tribals, got majority seats in 520 VCs followed by the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in 25 VCs, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) in 20, the Congress in 9, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in four, and the Tripura People’s Party (TPP) in two.

The fate of remaining seven VCs remains unsettled.

The elections to constitute 587 elected VCs under the TTAADC were held on February 24 and the counting of votes began on Saturday. The final results were declared by the State Election Commission (SEC) on Sunday.

SEC secretary Tamal Majumder told reporters that the polling was held in 528 of the 587 VCs. The ruling Left Front parties have been elected unopposed in 59 VCs; so elections were held for 3,695 seats of 528 VCs.

The IPFT, INPT and TPP are all local tribal-based parties.

Majumder said the CPI-M secured 3,798 seats while its ally Communist Party of India got 18, Revolutionary Socialist Party 13 and the Forward Bloc 9 seats.

Among the tribal-based parties, IPFT, INPT and TPP managed respectively 340 seats, 199 seats and 12 seats. Another Tribal-based party, Tripura State Party, got 22 seats but did not secure majority in any of the VCs.

The Congress, the main opposition party in the state, bagged 91 seats only while the BJP, an emerging political force in the Left-ruled Tripura, obtained 75 seats.

In the last polls in 2011, there were total of 527 VCs and opposition parties together had got majority in 52 VCs against 67 out of the 587 VCs this time.

In all, 8,194 candidates from national and local parties contested the elections.

The ruling Left Front led by the CPI-M put up 3,697 candidates.

The Left Front retained the 30-member tribal autonomous body (TTAADC) for the third consecutive term in last year’s elections.

After the formation of the TTAADC 34 years ago under the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, its constitutional and legal powers were upgraded in August 1984 to protect and safeguard the political, economic and cultural interests of tribals.

These tribals constitute a third of Tripura’s 3.7 million population.

The TTAADC governs two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,492 square km area.

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