BJP wins 2 Tripura Assembly seats, scripts electoral history as 1st Muslim nominee succeeds
The ruling BJP, which won both Dhanpur and Boxanagar Assembly constituencies thrashing its CPI (M) rivals with a massive margins of votes, created history in Tripura as for the first time a minority Muslim candidate won as a saffron party nominee.
AGARTALA: The ruling BJP, which on Friday won both Dhanpur and Boxanagar Assembly constituencies thrashing its CPI (M) rivals with a massive margins of votes, created history in Tripura as for the first time a minority Muslim candidate won as a saffron party nominee.The BJP wrested the Boxanagar seat from the CPI-M and retained the Dhanpur seat even as the two assembly constituencies were once strongholds of the Left parties.
Election officials said that BJP candidate Taffajal Hossain, with 34,146 votes, won in Boxanagar by a margin of 30,237 votes defeating his CPI (M) opponent Mizan Hossain, who bagged 3,909 votes only. BJP nominee Bindu Debnath (30,017 votes) won the Dhanpur constituency beating his CPI-M challenger Kaushik Chanda (11146 votes) by a margin of 18871 votes. The 51-years-old Muslim leader Taffajal Hossain, first Muslim nominee elected to Tripura assembly as BJP nominee, unsuccessfully contested the February 16 assembly polls from the same Muslim-dominated Boxanagar constituency. He lost to CPI-M's Samsul Haque, who died on July 19 following a cardiac attack necessitating the byepolls, by a margin of 4631 votes. The bye-election to the Dhanpur seat was necessitated after Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik resigned from the Assembly, days after she was elected from the seat as a BJP nominee in the February Assembly elections. The byepolls were held on Tuesday, and the voter turnout stood at 86.56 per cent, with 93,495 eligible voters casting their ballots.
The Congress and the Tipra Motha Party (TMP), the other two main opposition parties in the state, had earlier announced not to field candidates in the two seats to prevent division of vote share. The leaders of TMP headed by Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman, however, two days before the by-elections, had declared not to support the CPI-M or the BJP in the by-elections, leaving the choice to the voters and party workers. Congress leaders, led by state party President Ashish Kumar Saha campaigned for the CPI-M candidates. "To defeat the BJP and to ensure victory for the INDIA alliance, we have campaigned in both the Assembly segments," Saha said.
After the formation of the opposition alliance -- Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) - September 5 bye-elections was its first electoral battle. Alleging large-scale intimidation, rigging and irregularities by members and workers of the state's ruling BJP on the polling day and the Election Commission's 'inactiveness' to deal with the "terror and misdeeds", the CPI (M)-led Left Front has boycotted the counting. With this victory in the two assembly seats, the BJP's tally increased to 33 in the 60-member assembly while CPI-M's strength went down from 11 to 10. In the February 16 assembly polls, the ruling BJP won 32 seats while its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) secured one.
On the other hand the tribal based Tipra Motha Party (TMP) became the second single largest party after BJP securing 13 seats while CPI-M managed 11 seats and the Congress three. The CPI-M and the Congress contested the February assembly polls in a seat sharing arrangement. Though the CPI-M, Congress and the TMP initially decided to fight against the BJP and try to prevent vote division of opposition parties but subsequently TMP was out of the electoral scene.
The latest development took place after the meeting between TMP supremo Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on August 26. In other setbacks for the opposition parties in the two assembly segments, one of the prominent Muslim CPI-M leader and former Minister Shahid Chowdhury's brother Farooq Chowdhury and top Congress leader and former Minister Billal Mia joined the BJP just before the by-elections boosting the ruling party. Many top BJP leaders and Central Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President J.P. Nadda and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma congratulated the party candidates for their success. (IANS)
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