Left Front wins Tripura, Congress rules Meghalaya

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Agartala/Shillong, Mar 7: Amid its uneasy truce with the UPA Government at the Centre over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Left Front today stormed to power in Tripura for a fourth consecutive term while a coalition government appeared inevitable in Meghalaya with the ruling Congress emerging as the single largest party in the hung Assembly.

The Left Front swept the polls attaining a two-thirds majority, winning 49 seats in the 60-member Tripura Assembly. The election results threw up a hung Assembly in Meghalaya with the ruling Congress emerging as the single largest group with 25 of the 60 seats in the House. A coalition government was inevitable in the state as its former alliance partner, United Democratic Party, had won 11 seats. The Nationalist Congress Party bagged 13 seats and the BJP one. The HSPDP won two seats, Independents five and Others one.

The election outcome in Tripura sparked another round of sharp exchanges between the Congress and the Left parties, already witnessing strains in their ties over the controversial nuclear deal.

Emboldened by the Left Front's handsome performance in Tripura, the CPI(M) dared the Congress to confront it on policy issues anywhere in the country. It asserted that the party had absolved itself of the charge of "scientific rigging". ''The clear message from the results is that the Left always worked in the interest of the people -- the peasantry, workers, womenfolk, the youth and other weaker sections of society,'' CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said.

The Congress rejected the contention of the Left parties that their victory in Tripura assembly election was a referendum on the economic policies of the Manmohan Singh Government. It, however, held the "localised factors" responsible for the poll outcome.


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