By-elections in 4 constituencies of the Assembly: Life and death struggle for all parties

Jayanta Debnath

June 20, 2022, 11:19:32   

By-elections in 4 constituencies of the Assembly: Life and death struggle for all parties

There is a lot of speculation in various quarters about the outcome of the forthcoming by-elections for the four assembly seats in the state. And that is normal. Four elections have been held in the state since 2018, Panchayat, Lok Sabha, ADC and lastly a few days ago municipal and Nagar Panchayat polls.  In each and every election since 2018 the ruling BJP has somehow managed to win the election.  Complaints of opposition parties are that in not a single case after 2018 has the election been free and peaceful in the state.

 

Every political party in the opposition also claims that if ordinary people could vote freely in a peaceful environment, the BJP would not have won any election after 2018. Because, they could not fulfill any of their promises made in 2018. In addition, a new culture of terror has been imported across the state in the name of bike forces. In 2018 BJP in their election manifesto did mention more than 299 different categories of promises. Therefore, every opposition political party thinks that the BJP will not be able to win a single seat in the forthcoming by-elections of the four assembly constituencies namely 6 Agartala, 6 Baradowali, 46 Surma and 57 Yubrajnagar respectively if the voters can vote freely in a peaceful environment.

 

The BJP, on the other hand, claims that they fulfilled   almost all of the promises to make Tripura a model state. In many cases, things have worked out beyond promise. Therefore, the BJP has got the benefit of good governance at every election. People have voted in every election with open minds. And they will win the upcoming by-elections in four assembly seats too.

 

The BJP further claims that there is no existence of Congress in the state. All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) is a party of ‘Migrant Leaders’. TMC has no local leader in the state. The BJP's assessment of the CPIM is that they had been in power for 25 years but did nothing for the people of the state. Therefore, the people of the state will not return back the CPIM to power for natural reasons. But in this case, if we look back at the recent poll figures, it can be seen that the BJP has not been able to increase its vote share much in the recent past elections despite widespread rigging except for one or two constituencies. Despite the party being in power in the state, they were not able to win the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) vote. Needless to say, if the same situation continues and the people can exercise their democratic rights properly in the forthcoming by-elections, it will be difficult for the BJP to retain power in the days to come. Because, if we take a closer look at the results of the Assembly elections of 2018, we will see that at that time, the BJP and the IPFT alliance got an average of 50.97 percent of the total valid votes (23 lakh 53 thousand 246). Out of these, BJP alone got 43.59% and IPFT got 7.38%. But since then, the BJP's vote share has plummeted. Due to the untimely demise of MLA Dilip Sarkar in 2019, the margin of victory of BJP candidate in the by-election of Badharghat Assembly constituency in September of that year was reduced from 53.39% to 44.59%. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party got only 49.03% of the votes in the state. In 2022, the average vote in Pur and Nagar Panchayats was 60.04% with allegations of large-scale violence and rigging. Earlier, in the 2021 ADC elections, the BJP IPFT alliance got only 29.34% votes. Tipramatha got 47.63% of the vote.  The Left Front got 13.13% of the vote and Congress got 2.26%.

 

In other words, it is clear from the statistics that the BJP's vote share has been declining in average since 2018. In the just concluded Pur and Nagar Panchayat elections-2022, the BJP party got an average of 60.04% of the votes. However, there are allegations of widespread vote terrorism in this case. In this situation, in the face of the 2023 Assembly polls, the June 23 polls have become a tough challenge for the BJP. In this case, the BJP has got an opportunity on June 23 to disprove the allegation of widespread vote terrorism made by the opposition political parties that the state did not hold democratic elections after 2018.  

 

In 2019, in Tripura, the ruling BJP won 98.9 percent of the seats in the three-tier panchayat elections. Out of a total of 6646 seats under the three-tier panchayat system, the ruling party has won 5652 seats unopposed and the BJP has won 789 of the remaining 994 seats where voting took place. But even in this vote, there was an allegation of widespread rigging. However, it is hoped that there will be no rigging in the upcoming by-elections scheduled on the 23rd of June as before. Because, the party president and the chief minister of the state himself has said more than once in the recent past that he is not in favor of forcible voting. Of course, it depends on how well the other leaders in the team comply and workers will abide by this statement of the party president and the chief minister of the state. Because, it is doubtful how much the party can win the hearts of the voters just by talking about development and good governance. The people of the state are aware of how much the BJP and the IPFT have done or have been able to do for the overall development of the state since they came to power in 2018. However, the Left Front, led by the CPIM, and the state's another main opposition party Congress, has already been able to build a resistance movement for the people of the state  to restore democracy in the state since 2018. The state’s largest regional political party Tipramatha, which has no political past, but a plan for the future of the indigenous peoples is openly seeking Greater Tipraland by dividing Tripura. In the forthcoming by-elections too, they have kept the slogan of Greater Tipraland alive and fielded candidates for Surma SC reserved assembly seats. The National Congress party has openly supported them. The Congress party will get the answer to this question in the by-elections whether the party supporters support this strategy of the Congress leaders.

 

Overall, the June 23 by-election results pose a major challenge to the ruling and opposition sections of the state in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls, as well as to the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance. At the same time, there is an opportunity for the Election Commission to disprove the allegation made by the opposition political parties that the elections in the state have not been free and peaceful for the first time since 2018. (The author is a senior journalist and editor)

 

Voter details in the by-elections-2022 of four assembly constituencies


Name of the Constituency

SC

ST

Minority

General

Total

6 Agartala

10454

2873

4076

34266

51642

8 Baradowali

7074

1368

437

37897

46776

46 Surma

19882

13845

1124

12463

47314

57 Yubrajnagar

9219

2507

5292

26355

43373

Source: Compiled on the basis of voter list provided on the Election Commission's website


Assembly Election-2018: Result at a Glance


Party/Alliance

Total votes received

Total votes received (%)

Left Front

10,43,640

44.35%

BJP

10,25,673

43.59%

Congress

42,100

1.79%

IPFT

1,73,603

7.38%

TMC

6,989

0.30%

Total Valid Vote

23,53,246

91.38%

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

By-Election-2019, Badharghat Constituency

Party and candidate wise vote statistics


Candidate

Total votes received

Percentage (%)

Mimi Majumder, BJP

20487

44.59%

Rattan Ch Das, Congress

9105

19.81%

Mridul Kanti Sarkar, SUCI

470

1.02%

Bulti Biswas

15211

33.10%

Total Valid Vote

45944

 

NOTA

667

1.45%

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

Lok Sabha Vote 2019: Net result of two seats in Tripura at a Glance


Party/Alliance

Percentage of valid votes cast (%)

Total votes received

BJP Alliance

49.03%

1055658

Congress Alliance

25.34%

545679

Left Front Alliance

17.31%

372789

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

 

Lok Sabha Vote - 2019: 46 Surma Assembly constituency

Party-wise voting figures


Candidate

Total Received Valid Vote

Percentage (%)

Jitendra Chowdhury, CPIM

6030

16.28%

Narendra Ch Debbarma, IPFT

545

1.22%

Pragya Debbarman, Congress

11448

30.91%

Rebati Tripura, BJP

17755

87.95%

Karnadhan Chakma, Amra Bangali

266

0.71%

Amar Debbarma, Independent

81 

0.21%

Chittaranjan Debbarma, Independent

76

0.20%

Dipti Halam, Independent

130

0.35%

Binoy Debbarma, Independent

198

0.53%

Subir Kumar Jamatia, Independent

155

0.41%

NOTA

341

0.92%

Total Valid Vote

37025

 

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

 

Lok Sabha Vote 2019: Results of 56 Yubrajnagar Assembly constituency votes


Candidate

Total Received Valid Vote

Percentage (%)

Jitendra Chowdhury, CPIM

6601

18.92%

Narendra Ch Debbarma, IPFT

169

0.48%

Pragya Debbarman, Congress

6140

17.59%

Rebati Tripura, BJP

21090

60.44%

Karnadhan Chakma, Amra Bangali

178

0.51%

Amar Debbarma, Independent

63

0.18%

Chittaranjan Debbarma, Independent

59

0.16%

Dipti Halam, Independent

76

0.21%

Binoy Debbarma, Independent

136

0.38%

Subir Kumar Jamatia, Independent

110

0.31%

NOTA

277

0.79%

Total Valid Vote

34899

 

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

Lok Sabha Vote 2019: Results of votes cast in Baradowali Assembly constituency


Candidate

Total Received Valid Vote

Percentage (%)

Pratima Bhowmik, BJP

18406

52.54%

Brishketu Debbarma, IPFT

126

0.35%

Maman Khan, TMC

214

0.61%

Shankar Prasad Dutta, CPIM

6785

19.37%

Subal Bhowmik, Congress

4675

13.34%

Arun Chandra Bhowmik, NUCI

66

0.18%

K. Dhirendra Sing, TPP

38

0.10%

Jayaki Murasing,  API

54

0.15%

Prabir Debnath, Amra Bangali

55

0.15%

Narayan Chandra Dey, Independent

20

0.05%

Pradip Chakraborty, Independent

70

0.19%

Brajalal Debnath, Independent

43

0.12%

Subal Sarkar, Independent

54

0.15%

NOTA

420

1.19%

Total Valid Vote

35026

-

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

Lok Sabha Vote 2019: Results of votes received in Krishnanagar Assembly constituency


Candidate

Total Received Valid Vote

Percentage (%)

Pratima Bhowmik, BJP

18783

45.88%

Brishketu Debbarma, IPFT

270

0.65%

Maman Khan, TMC

342

0.83%

Shankar Prasad Dutta, CPIM

9355

22.85%

Subal Bhowmik, Congress

10955

26.76%

Arun Chandra Bhowmik, NUCI

85

0.20%

K. Dhirendra Sing, TPP

89

0.21%

Jayaki Murasing,  API

168

0.41%

Prabir Debnath, Amra Bangali

91

0.22%

Narayan Chandra Dey, Independent

49

0.11%

Pradip Chakraborty, Independent

107

0.26%

Brajalal Debnath, Independent

92

0.22%

Subal Sarkar, Independent

128

0.31%

NOTA

418

1.02%

Total Valid Vote

40,932

-

Source:- ceotripura.nic.in

 

 

Tripura Pur and Nagar Panchayat Vote - 2022

The results at a glance

 

Total Voters: 4.97 Lakh, Total Seats: 334, Total Candidates: 785, Won uncontested: 112


Party/Alliance

Total Vote Received

Percentage (%)

Left Front Alliance

79,586

19.99%

BJP Alliance

2,38,962

60.04%

Congress

8,364

2.10%

TMC

66,388

16.68%

NOTA

6,983

1.75%

Total Valid Vote

3,97,971

-

 

 

ADC Vote 2021: Results at a Glance


Party/Alliance

Total Vote Received

Percentage (%)

Left Front

96,330

13.13%

Tipra Motha Alliance

3,42,819

46.73%

BJP- IPFT Alliance

2,15,303

29.34%

Congress

16,425

2.24%

NOTA

7,327

0.99%

Total Vote

,৩৩,৬২৯

-

 

   (Tripurainfo)