Tripura assembly election: BJP confident of retaining power

State records more than 81% voter turnout; EC says election is largely incident free, counting on March 2

NEW DELHI | Updated: 16 February, 2023 11:46 pm IST
Union MoS Pratima Bhoumik and CM Manik Saha cast their votes

While the final voter turnout figure did not match 2018’s 91.38 per cent but Tripura still registered over 81 per cent voting in the assembly election that was held on Thursday, February 16.

Among the key candidates, Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Pratima Bhoumik’s fate was sealed in the Dhanpur constituency. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not officially declared it, Bhoumik is considered one of the strong candidates for Chief ministership.

CM Manik Saha is contesting from the Town Bardowali constituency. Saha is up against incumbent and former BJP man Ashish Kumar Saha, who switched to Congress after the party opted to give the seat to the former. The fact that he is not contesting from any other constituency speaks volumes about his confidence in winning.

However, Bhoumik’s sudden appearance in the assembly election could scupper Saha’s chance of retaining the chair. Saha came to power following the ouster of then CM Biplab Deb, a firebrand leader who is considered popular among the masses.

Tripura recorded over 81 per cent voter turnout  (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ceotripura)

 

Incumbent Chief Minister Manik Saha will be taking on Congress’ Ashish Kumar Saha, who won the constituency in 2018.

Deputy CM Jishnu Dev Varma will hope to retain his Charilam (ST) seat, while state BJP president Rajib Bhattacharjee will hope to retain the Banamalipur seat for the party.

Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai has expressed confidence in a major win for BJP. He cited welfare schemes and development work carried out by BJP as the reason behind his confidence.

“This time, people have voted for progress and development and clever people in Tripura have voted for the BJP,” Rai said.

After Bru migrants from Mizoram were resettled in Tripura, they exercised their right to vote for the first time in the state (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ceotripura)

 

The voting for the 60-member assembly began at 7 am under tight security across 3,337 polling stations, out of which 1,100 were identified as sensitive and 28 as critical. The voting continued till 4 pm. As many as 31,000 polling personnel and 25,000 security personnel of the central forces were deployed.

“In 1600 polling booths, several voters were in the queue even at 4 pm. We are expecting around 92 per cent voter turnout (including postal ballots) after the final count,” an official from Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)’s office said.

The official also said that the voting remained peaceful. “Other than one or two incidents, it was a peaceful election. Significantly more than 14K Bru voters cast their vote today,” the official said.

“While 168 booths reported re-polling in the 2019 general elections, so far there has been re-polling in the assembly election,” the Election Commission of India (ECI) added.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Tripura issued notices to the state units of the Congress and the BJP, as well as BJP national general secretary Dilip Saikia, for seeking votes on Twitter when polling is underway in the northeastern state.

An overwhelming percentage of transgender voters also cast their vote in the assembly election.  (Photo Courtesy Twitter @ceotripura)

 

The Election Commission said the tweets are violative of election law as they were made in the 48-hour ‘silence period’, which began on Tuesday, February 14, evening.

Tripura witnessed a three-corner fight in the assembly election as the CPI (M)-Congress alliance and the regional alliance, Tipra Motha, challenged the incumbent BJP, which was hoping to retain power.

The BJP, which is looking to retain power in Tripura, is contesting 55 seats. The CPI(M) is contesting 47 seats, while its ally Congress fielded candidates in 13 seats.

Tipra Motha, led by erstwhile royal family scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma, has fielded candidates for 42 seats. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has also fielded candidates for 28 seats.

In 2018, the BJP secured 35 seats with 43.59 per cent of the vote share. The CPI (M) secured 16 seats with 42.22 per cent of the vote share. The IPFT won 8 seats on 7.38 votes cast.

Congress, on the other hand, failed to open its account and garnered just 1.79 per cent of the vote share.

Also Read Story

I went against family wishes to join BJP in 1996: Tamilisai Soundrajan

Stalin & family pray secretly & want Tamils to become atheists: Tamilisai Soundrajan

Kerala gears up for major shift in IT hiring process

Sankalp Patra : PM Modi Vows to Empower Youth, Women, Poor, and Farmers