Agartala, Mar 7 (UNI) The CPI(M)-led Left Front stormed to power for a fourth consecutive term in Tripura, capturing 49 seats in the 60-member Assembly today as the people reposed their faith in Chief Minister Manik Sarkar for the overall progress, peace and stability of the state.
Not only did the Left Front did eight better than their previous assembly polls in 2003 when they secured only 41 seats, the negation of Forward Bloc from the alliance could neither affect its vote bank nor help the opposition.
This meant a record in Tripura's political history as the CPI(M) led Left Front garnered overwhelming support of the people demolishing any anti-incumbency trend that pre-poll predictions showed.
Sarkar completed his hat-trick after winning as the Chief Minister in 1998 and 2003 and the Left Front came to power for the fourth consecutive term since 1993.
While his detractors harped on the corruption factor, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar made progress, employment and rural development his poll plank. And it worked wonders.
The huge victory registered in the tribal dominated areas also showed the Left Front's growing popularity in Tripura's Autonomous District Council where people voted for stability, development and peace.
In contrast Congress' efforts of playing the corruption card bore futility as their numbers were reduced to 10 from 13 and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra rpt Twipra (INPT) was reduced to just one seat from six. Bloc came a cropper in the polls.
The Left Front tallied 49 seats-- CPI(M) 46, CPI one, RSP two, while Congress won 10 seats and INPT one.
CPI(M) candidates Finance minister Badal Choudhury won the election from Hrishyamukh seat by a margin of 7761 votes, highest this time followed by ICAT minister Anil Sarkar who secured the margin of 7050.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has won Dhanpur seat by a margin of 2918, which was 4502 in 2003 elections.
Left Front lost four seats, including those of sitting Handloom and Handicraft minister Mrs Bijoylaxmi Sinha in Kamalpur and Deputy speaker of the state assembly Subal Rudra in Sonamura segments.
But the Front hit back wresting eight from Congress and INPT, including Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee President Samir Ranjan Barman and four sitting MLAs--Prakash Das in Bamutia, Kajal Das in Kalayanpur, Ashok Debarma in Golaghati and Joytirmoy Nath in Kadamtala seats.
Meanwhile, all five sitting MLAs of INPT, including veteran tribal leader Shyamacharan Tripura and INPT General Secretary Rabindra Debarmma were ousted by the Left front candidates as the red rage swet Tripura even in the tribal dominated areas. one INPT MLA and former militant Bijoy Kumar Hringkhawl has secured his victory by a margin of 115 votes.
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