The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was on course to retain power in Tripura as the party reached the halfway mark in the latest trends amid the ongoing counting of votes on March 2.
According to the latest data shared by the Election Commission at 11.30 am, the BJP was leading in 31 seats while the CPIM-Congress alliance was leading in 16 seats (11& 5 seats respectively). The Tipra Motha Party is leading in 11 seats.
Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is contesting from the Town Bardowali constituency, was leading Congress’ Asish Kumar Saha by 1,321 votes.
Manik Saha secured 16,446 votes till 11.30am, with his vote share at 50.15 per cent.
State BJP chief Rajib Bhattacharjee was trailing Congress candidate Gopal Chandra Roy.
Bhattacharjee secured 44.81 per cent votes, according to the latest data, while Roy garnered 50.28 per cent votes.
According to exit poll projections, the BJP, which created history in 2018 by wresting the state from the Left, was ahead of its rivals.
The Commission made elaborate security arrangements to ensure a smooth counting process. A three-tier security arrangement has been made with the required the deployment of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Tripura State Rifle (TRS) and Tripura Police. Sufficient security arrangements are there besides round-the-clock patrolling by 30 vehicles in which CRPF officers would be there.
“Counting of votes will take place at 21 counting centres. The EC has deployed 60 election observers. All counting staff have been trained. Security arrangements and CCTV coverage have been arranged outside and inside counting centres,” Kiran Gitte, Tripura’s Chief Electoral Officer said earlier.
Gitte said Section 144 has been imposed at certain locations in light of apprehensions over law and order.
The Northeast state saw a triangular contest as Congress and CPIM, which have been arch rivals for years, stitched a pre-poll alliance to defeat the ruling BJP.
While the BJP which is looking to retain the power contested in alliance with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tipra Motha which is being seen as a kingmaker in case of a hung assembly scenario, emerged as an influential regional party floated by the royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma in 2021.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the majority mark is 30 and the exit polls predicted a clear edge for the BJP over its rivals in the state.
The BJP, which had never won a single seat in Tripura before 2018, stormed to power in the last election in alliance with IPFT and had ousted the Left Front which had been in power in the border state for 35 years since 1978.
The BJP contested on 55 seats and its ally, IPFT, on six seats. But both allies had fielded candidates in the Ampinagar constituency in the Gomati district.
The Left contested on 47 and Congress on 13 seats, respectively. Of the total 47 seats, the CPM contested 43 seats while the Forward Bloc, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) contested one seat each.
BJP won 36 seats in the assembly and got 43.59 per cent of the votes in the 2018 election. The CPI (M) won 16 seats with a 42.22 per cent vote share. The IPFT won eight seats and Congress could not open its account.
The CPI-M-led Left Front ruled the state for nearly four decades, with a gap between 1988 and 1993, when the Congress was in power but now both parties joined hands with the intention to oust BJP from power.