New Delhi: The ”Left” is left in the lurch! So. In Tripura by-polls, while BJP could win three out of four and one went to Congress strongman Sudip Roy Burman, the big picture takeaway is the further the decimation of the communists.
Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, Swapna Das Pal and Malina Debnath won their seats for the ruling BJP are in power in the northeastern state for the first time since 2018.
Assembly elections are due in Tripura by February-March 2023 and these were truly almost semi-final.
BJP candidates Swapna Das Pal returned from the Surma assembly segment fighting against pro-tribal outfit TIPRA Motha and CPI-M, and so did Malina Debnath at Jubarajnagar.
Chief Minister Dr Saha, who replaced Biplab Deb recently, defeated his nearest rival Congress candidate Asish Saha in politically sensitive Bordowali by a margin of 6,104 votes. While Dr Saha got a total of 17,181 votes, Ashis Kumar Saha (Congress) got 11077.
Notably, Left Front’s Forward Bloc candidate Raghunath Sarkar could win only 3376 votes, while Sanhita Banerjee of Trinamool Congress, despite all hypes, could win only 986 votes.
For Congress, veteran Sudip Roy Burman won the prestigious Agartala seat. In 2018, he won the seat as a BJP nominee. He also served as = Minister but later quit the party as the high command did not replace Biplab Deb.
Though the elections in Tripura, a one-time Marxist bastion, were multi-cornered, ultimately vote count show it essentially ended up as a battle between the BJP and the Congress.
Whether this would become a trend in the assembly elections due early next year remains to be seen.
Significantly enough, the Congress was nowhere in 2018 polls as most of its vote-share had moved towards the saffron party kitty, but it has gained this time at the cost of communists’ support base.
If this becomes a trend, it would be a sensational transition in Tripura’sTripura’s electoral history.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress came to Tripura in 2021 with fanfare and the slogan ”Didi ke chai” ( Tripura wants Mamata Banerjee-didi), has been shown its marginalised position in more ways than one.
The following statistics show how the Left support base has declined sharply.
In the 2018 assembly elections, in the Agartala seat, CPI-M’sCPI-M’s Krishna Majumdar had got 17,852 votes-that is 40.03 per cent of the total votes in her kitty. This time it came down to only 6,808 votes.
Sudip Roy Barman of Congress bagged 17,431 votes winning the seat. Notably, in 2018, Congress polled only 638 votes. The BJP nominee, Dr Ashok Sinha time 14,268 votes.
In 2018 assembly election, the total votes of the BJP were 25,234, which is 56.59 per cent.
In Agartala, Trinamool Congress nominee Panna Deb got only 842 votes. So the Left support base has clearly backed Congress veteran Sudip Roy Burman.
In Bordowali’s seat also, Forward Bloc candidate Biswanath Saha in 2018 had got 13,115. This time Forward Bloc candidate Raghunath Sarkar could win only 3,376.
So around 9,700 Left Front supporting electors this time-shifted loyalty towards Congress. In 2018, Congress candidate had only 1,285 votes, while Congress candidate Asish Saha got 11,077 votes.
To a large extent, these trends reflect what went around with the Left parties in West Bengal in the 2021 polls.
As Left votes shifted en masse towards Trinamool Congress, the communists today do not have any legislators in West Bengal -a state where they ruled for 35 years. Is a similar fate awaiting the communists in Tripura as well? Morning shows the day – goes a saying.