BJP sweeps Tripura panchayat by-polls

Tripura’s ruling BJP has swept the three-tier panchayat by-elections with a clear margin, even as the Congress called the whole poll process a farcical exercise. According to  State Election Commissioner G Kameswara Rao, counting of votes cast in the by-polls took place yesterday. .

He said that BJP candidates emerged victorious in 113 out of 130 gram panchayat seats which went to polls. The BJP has also won five out of the seven panchayat samiti seats, he added. Ruling alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) won on nine gram panchayat seats.

Meanwhile, opposition CPM and Congress won 4 seats each in the gram panchayat bodies. Re-polling would be held on October 5 in two gram panchayat seats in Khowai Rural Development Block of Khowai district, 60 kms from Agartala, the State Election Commissioner said. Results for the re-polled seats would be announced on October 7.

The State Election Commission had announced by-polls in 3,207 seats of different gram panchayat bodies, 161 seats of panchayat samiti and 18 seats in zilla parishads on September 1. The by-polls became necessary after a large number of elected public representatives resigned from these local self-government bodies.

BJP won uncontested in over 96 per cent of these seats and only 130 gram panchayat seats went to polls along with five seats of the panchayat samiti bodies. Polling was held on September 30 with a voter turnout of 81.03 per cent.

BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha welcomed the by-election results and said that people spontaneously exercised their voting rights due to absence of CPM’s party whip. CPM enforced its favourable mandate on people which was responsible for the communist party’s long winning spree in all elections over last 25 years, Sinha claimed.

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