Left Front MLAs in Tripura romp home, sans four

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Agartala, Mar 7 (UNI) All the 22 sitting MLAs retained their seats as Left Front romped home for the fourth consecutive time in Tripura with a two-thirds majority in the 10th Assembly Election held on February 23.

However, four of the sitting MLAs, including Handloom and Handicraft Minister Bijoylaxmi Sinha in Kamalpur and Deputy speaker of the state assembly Subal Rudra, were axed by the voter.

Reacting to Left Front's victory Chief Minister Manik Sarkar told UNI over phone, ''The people rejected the militant backed Congress-INPT alliance and responded to our appeal for continuing development and peace. Only because of them we came back with 49 seats and it has increased our responsibility manifold''.

The Left Front tallied 49 seats-- CPI(M) 46, CPI one, RSP two, while Congress won 10 seats and INPT one.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar from 22-Dhanpur, Information minister Anil Sarkar from 13-Pratapgarh, Finance Minister Badal Choudhury from 38-Hrishyamukh, Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty from 53-Chandipur, Transport Minister Manik Dey from 10-Majlishpur, Education Minister Keshab Majumdar from 34-Kakraban retained their seats.

Forest and Tribal Welfare Minister Jitendra Choudhury from 40-Manu, Labour Minister Fayzur Rahaman from 54-Kurti, Co-operation Minister Khagendra Jamatia from 28-Krishnapur and Animal Resource Minister Pranab Debarmma from 01-Simna have also secured victory.

On the other, Congress sitting MLAs from 6-Agartala Sudip Roy Barman, 9-Banamalipur Gopal Roy, 8-Bordawli Sudhir Ranjan Majumder (was replaced by veteran Ashok Bhattacharjee), 2-Mohanpur Ratan Lal Nath, 7-Ramnagar Surajit Datta, 53-Kailashahar Birajit Siha retained the seats, capturing the 14-Badharghat, 56-Dharmanagar, 45-Kamalpur, 21-Sonamura seats from the Front this time.

INPT nominee and former militant Bijoy Kumar Hriangkhawl won 48-Kulai constituency for third consecutive term by a margin of 115 votes, a huge reduction from 3980 which he won in 2003 assembly election.

CPI(M) had given 15 new candidates a chance, including five women, by dropping four sitting MLAs, including Food Minister Gopal Das (RSP) in the election.

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