BJP's 112-seat uncontested win in Tripura civic polls shows they are still the party to beat


The Bharatiya Janata Party has reasons to celebrate: The ruling party in the state won 112 of the total 334 seats uncontested in the Agartala Municipal Corporation and 19 urban local bodies ahead of the 25 November elections.

This will be the first civic election that the BJP will face after coming to power in the border state in 2018.

The easy win is also a message to the Trinamool Congress, who has been aggressively campaigning in the state and fighting for an electoral success in the northeastern state.

Civic body polls in Tripura

The political environment in Tripura has been heating up ahead of the civic body polls with BJP and TMC aggressively campaigning for the elections. Altogether there are 334 seats in the urban local bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation (51 wards), 13 Municipal Councils, and six Nagar Panchayats across the state.

Officials from the State Election Commission said that the BJP had already won 112 of the 334 seats uncontested. The BJP already secured majority in seven civic bodies in Jirania, Ranir Bazar, Mohanpur, Bishalgarh in Western Tripura, Santir Bazar and Udaipur in southern Tripura and Kamalpur in northern Tripura.

A total of 785 contestants are in the fray for the remaining 222 seats, elections for which are scheduled to be held on 25 November. A total of 5,94,772 voters are eligible to cast their votes in the civic poll and the number of women voters outnumber male voters in urban areas.

Pre-poll violence

The state has been witnessing protests and violence in the run-up to the polls. In fact, CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury alleged that their candidates were forced to withdraw their nominations due to terror let loose by goons sheltered by the BJP.

"Violence began much before the announcement of the schedule of the civic polls. Many of our party activists were attacked and our candidates in five municipal councils and two nagar panchayats could not file their nominations. An unprecedented terror was let loose by BJP-sheltered goons," he told reporters.

Earlier in the last week of October, TMC's Sushmita Dev had written a letter to Tripura governor Satyadeo Narain Arya seeking his intervention in the law and order in the state, alleging that the situation is extremely critical.

In her letter, she had written: "The extremely critical situation that is prevailing in the state of Tripura needs immediate attention. The law and order is at its worst. Many districts of Tripura have witnessed violence and vandalism against people and property."

Her letter was a reaction to the violence that broke out during a Vishwa Hindu Parishad rally.

While she alleged that the religious places were being burnt, the police denied such incidents. "During yesterday's protest rally in Panisagar, North Tripura, no masjid was burnt and the pictures being shared of burning or damaged masjid or collection of sticks etc are all fake and are not from Tripura. They may be of some countries," the police had said in a tweet.

Dev, a Rajya Sabha MP, also alleged that on 22 October BJP members attacked her and vandalised her car in Agartala.

Message from the polls

The upcoming civic body elections are crucial for all parties. While the BJP is trying to get control of all the municipalities, the Left wants to return to power through these polls.

The TMC is looking at establishing its party in the state through the urban local body elections. Hence, all political parties are giving it everything they’ve got.

Moreover, the polls hold significance as it is being looked as a precursor to the Assembly elections, which is scheduled for 2023.

The TMC, buoyed by its success in neighbouring West Bengal, is going up against the BJP and wants to wrest power from the saffron party. The Mamata Banerjee-led party is pulling no stops to ensure victory.

However, it is left to be seen what the party achieves. As of now, we can sit back and watch till the results are announced on 28 November.

With inputs from agencies

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BJP's 112-seat uncontested win in Tripura civic polls shows they are still the party to beat
BJP's 112-seat uncontested win in Tripura civic polls shows they are still the party to beat
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