AGARTALA: Election tempo has returned in Tripura within six months of a major change in the State politics and formation of the BJP-IPFT government removing the Left Front from power after 25 years as the State Election Commission is all set to announce date for the by-election of over three thousand seats of the Panchayats which is 52 percent of the total seats.
As per the Panchayat Act, a by-election can be conducted if any seat fell vacant due to the death of the member, resignation or any other reason. This generally occurs in few seats but this time the by the election of panchayat seats assumed special significance as it is going to be held in a large number of seats and decide the fate of more than half of the rural bodies. Most of these seats fell vacant due to the resignation of the members belonging to CPI(M) after the new government came into power in February last. In many other panchayats where the CPI(M) was holding majority has switched over their loyalty to the BJP. The main opposition CPI(M) alleges that most of these members were forced to resign or change their loyalty under duress. They were in a dilemma over participating in the by-election as according to them an unusual situation is prevailing in the state.
However, the State committee of the CPI(M) in a meeting held on August 24 reviewed the situation where two stalwarts of party Sitaram Yeachury and Prakash Karat was present. Though the situation is not favourable the party decided to contest the election giving impetus to the political activities in the State. It is learnt that the CPI(M) State Committee has decided to contest fearing that withdrawal from the election will be detrimental for the existence of the party which is facing an adverse situation in the State. It is because Congress may try to occupy the vacuum it may create.
Meanwhile, the Congress also increased its activities aiming at contesting the election. Though reduced to a minuscule power before the State assembly election due to large-scale desertions the party got encouraged in last two months over a trend of joining to Congress from CPI(M) and in some cases from BJP too. With the ongoing trend, it is clear that the state is going to witness a three-corner contest in the by-election.