Tripura Civic Polls: Cong Sulks, High Stakes for BJP, Left & TMC

BJP rebels led by Agartala constituency MLA Sudip Barman, aided by Town Bardowali MLA Ashis Kumar Saha, had been ignored by the party during the campaign. A section of Trinamool candidates, according to rumours, belongs to the Sudip camp. In case the Trinamool performs well in Agartala, Sudip’s camp would be in a better position to deal with their previous party Trinamool — and perhaps also with the BJP leadership as Sudip maintains good relations with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chairman of the BJP-led Northeast Democratic Alliance.

It is quite interesting as some of the Trinamool candidates were from the BJP and as a result, they could have eaten into the votes of the BJP. Did the Left candidates benefit from that? The question arises because the Left still has a committed vote bank in the state. Another interesting question is whom the Left voters voted for in Ward Nos 13, 14, 18, 20 and 43, where there were no Left candidates. Among these, the Congress had candidates only in two wards.

In the 2018 state polls, the Left lost all the constituencies — Agartala, Town Bardowali, Banamalipur, Barjala, Ramnagar, Khayerpur, Bhadharghat and Pratapgarh — that have wards in Agartala.

The Trinamool aimed to occupy the main opposition status in Agartala. The voters of Agartala generally elect the ruling party of the state, but in the 1995 civic polls, the opposition Congress swept the body by winning 14 out of 17 seats.

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