A crucial win coming just about a year before assembly polls due in February 2023, the saffron party gets a boost in the northeast and also stalls an over-ambitious Trinamool mission.
New Delhi: Giving a strong blow to the detractors just on the eve of the Winter Session of Parliament, the BJP on Sunday recorded a landslide victory in Tripura civic polls and won all 14 urban bodies in fiercely contested polls wherein Trinamool Congress created a big hype.
The saffron outfit facing aggressive campaign on the ground and unfriendly media coverage by a section managed to emerge victorious in 217 seats out of 222 in 14 urban bodies that went to polls.
It also made a clean sweep in 11 urban bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) in the state capital, which saw an intense contest between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and her lawmaker nephew had made it a prestige issue. They used the cine stardom strength in the party lineup to full steam.
The only consolation, of course, is Mamata's outfit could further marginalise CPI-M in Agartala and polled the second-highest number of votes in the state capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as expected, was jubilant about the mandate. "The people of Tripura have given a clear message – that they prefer politics of good governance. I would like to thank them for the unequivocal support to BJP in Tripura. These blessings give us greater strength to work for the welfare of each and every person in Tripura."
He also tweeted: "I would like to applaud the BJP Tripura unit Karyakartas who worked tirelessly on the ground and served people."
This win would also help state Chief Minister Biplab Deb, who had come under attack of political opponents and a section of party colleagues.
"Under the leadership of Shri Biplab Deb Ji, the state government has been at the forefront of many initiatives, which the people have duly blessed," Mr Modi wrote in his message.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted in Bangla congratulating the party's state unit for the spectacular win.
"I assure the people of Tripura that the BJP under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi Ji will continue to work towards the welfare of the state," he tweeted.
The Trinamool Congress was able to pick up only one seat in the Ambassa Municipal Council. There were some important messages. The BJP could do well in segments with a sizable Muslim population, as in Kailasahar and Sonamura.
The Trinamool Congress playing up its Muslim card as in West Bengal failed to make any impact. Once a Communist bastion Belonia came to the saffron party kitty.
The BJP also secured all the wards in the 15-member Khowai Municipal Council, another red bastion, and in Kumarghat Municipal Council and nine-member Sabroom Nagar Panchayat. It also swept the 15-ward Teliamura Municipal council and 13-member Amarpur Nagar Panchayat.
All eyes would not shift to the 2023 February-March assembly polls, with the civic polls coming to a stormy end. In 2018, Trinamool Congress was not in the contest and of course, along with marginalised Congress and the Left Front, Mamata Banerjee-led party will have to sweat it out. Two tribal-based parties are also important stakeholders in Tripura politics.