From A Correspondent
Agartala, Nov 22: The CPI(M) retained its stronghold Khowai and restored the Barjala
assembly constituency both of which went for by election on November 19; but what seems to be the most significant part of the by-election is the emergence of BJP as the main anti-left force in the State, pushing aside the Congress and Trimool Congress. In Khowai the CPI(M) candidate Biswajit Datta defeated his nearest rival Manoj Das of the Trimool Congress by a margin of 16,094 votes. Datta got 22,692 votes while Manoj Das got 8716 votes. The BJP candidate in this constituency Tapan Kumar Pal got 2528 votes and the Congress candidate Prab Biswas got 696 votes.
In Barjala constituency the CPI(M) candidate Jhumu Das defeated its nearest BJP rival Shishta Mohon Das by a margin of 3374 votes. Jhimu Das got 15,769 votes while the BJP candidate got 12,395 votes. The Trimool Congress candidate in this constituency former minister Prakash Das got 5692 votes and the Congress candidate Rajendra Kumar Das got 1063 votes.
Bijon Dhar, the State Secretary of the CPI(M) said the voters has reaffirmed their faith towards the developmental programmes of the Left Front government. However, he refrained from commenting on getting fewer votes compared to 2013 election in Barjala and said we are to review it. Though the BJP lost its deposit in Khowai, considered to be the strongest hold of CPI(M), the overall significance of the election is the emergence of BJP as the main anti-left force in the state.
In last three years in three more by-elections the BJP secured second position pushing the Congress into third position taking advantage of the weakness of the Congress. But after six Congress MLAs defected and joined Trimool Congress the question was roaming around which party is going to be the main anti-left force in the state.
The BJP State president Biplab Deb said voters have clarified this question by supporting BJP overwhelmingly. He said the increased number of votes in favour of BJP also reflects the people’s approval towards rendra Modi’s decisions including demonetization of Rs 500 and 1000 notes. The results of these two by-elections seem to have sealed the fate of the Trimool Congress in the State. The senior party leader and MLA Sudip Roy Barman, however, don’t feel it is the end of the game and said they will work hard to regain their position.