Agartala: The ruling BJP on Friday swept the bypolls for the vacant seats in different municipal bodies and Agartala Municipal Corporation, bagging 66 of the 67 seats, polling for which were held on Thursday, officials said.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Pabitra Kar said that a rally would be organised on Saturday to protest the “total farcical civic elections and murder of democracy in Tripura by the BJP governemnt”.
A senior official of the Tripura State Election Commission (TSEC) said that the candidates of Bharatiya Janata Party won 66 of the 67 seats through the elections and the party had earlier won 91 seats unopposed.
“The lone seat in the Panisagar Nagar Panchayat went in favour of the opposition CPI-M,” the official told the media.
The TSEC last month declared the by-elections to the 158 seats in 14 municipal bodies, including the Agartala Municipal Corporation.
CPI-M state secretary Gautam Das told the media that “due to intimidation, violent attacks and prevention” their candidates could not submit nominations for most seats facilitating the BJP candidates to win without any contest.
“In places where some of our candidates submitted their nominations, BJP and their hoodlums attacked them, their houses and properties while the police and the State Elections Commission remained as spectators,” he said.
“On Thursday, during the day of polling, in allmost all places, most of the polling agents including women, were forced out from polling booths to turn the balloting a complete farce. Not only the workers and their goons, BJP leaders including its MLA Dilip Das attacked the Left party workers and agents,” Das said.
He said BJP workers also assaulted former finance minister and incumbent Public Accounts Committee Chairman Bhanulal Saha in Bishalgarh in Western Tripura on Thursday.
“Despite our repeated requests to all authorities including the Director General of Police and State Election Comminnserner, with the active connivance of the officials of the TSEC and security personnel, the elections were rigged in Udaipur, Belonia, Santir Bazar in southern Tripura and Kumarghat, Kailashahar, Panisagar in northern Tripura besides in Agartala,” said Das, a member of the CPI-M central Committee. BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee rejected the allegations of the CPI-M and the Congress, saying that “people have already turned their face away from these parties as they lost the public support in the recent assembly polls.” (IANS)