Agartala, March 5: Breaking his silence over the Left Front regime's electoral rout in Tripura, outgoing chief minister of the state, Manik Sarkar, said that it was "completely unexpected". Talking to NDTV, Sarkar, who held the CM's post for four terms, beginning from March 1998 to March 2018, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) win in the recently held Assembly elections in Tripura had caught him off guard.
In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP bagged 35 seats and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) managed to get only 16 seats. The BJP's alliance partner, Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), won eight seats. Thus the BJP without its alliance partner can also form the government in the state easily. The elections results of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland were announced on Saturday. The polls in the three northeastern states took place in February.
The BJP's win in Tripura is historic as it has convincingly defeated the Left Front regime in its own bastion. The Left Front-ruled Tripura for the last 25 years. In the 2013 Tripura Assembly polls, the BJP did not even get a single seat.
With its defeat in Tripura, considered to be one of the last two citadels of the Left, the communist-ruled government remains only in Kerala. Over the years, the communist parties have been witnessing their steady decline. Many fear that the defeat in Tripura is the final nail in the coffin of the Left parties.
Sarkar submitted his resignation to governor Tathagata Roy on Sunday, a day after the CPI(M)-led Left Front was dethroned by the BJP-IPFT coalition after nearly 25 years in power. The governor advised Sarkar to continue until the new CM takes an oath.
Coming out of the Raj Bhavan, Sarkar told reporters that he and his ministers would not have been able to run the government for so many years unless the people and the employees extended their cooperation to them. He expressed gratitude to the people of the state and the staff members of the state administration.