Tripura municipal elections: Ruling BJP looks to sweep polls
The counting of votes for elections for the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and other civic bodies in Tripura is currently underway. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in Ambassa, Jirania, Teliamura, and Sabroom, according to the Tripura State Election Commission. Collectively, there are 334 seats in the urban local bodies, including 51 wards in the AMC.
Why does this story matter?
The BJP's imminent victory in the elections proves that it still enjoys a strong support base in Tripura. The elections were key as they mark the Trinamool Congress' (TMC) foray into Tripura politics. Incidentally, the elections were marred by violence and allegations of rigging. The General Election to the Municipal and Nagar Panchayat, 2021 covered six nagar panchayats, seven municipal councils, and the AMC.
CPI(M) wins 3 seats; TMC takes 1
The BJP had won 112 seats uncontested among the total 324 municipal seats. The remaining 222 seats witnessed a voter turnout of 81.54%. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) won in three seats: Panisagar Nagar panchayat, and Kailashahar and Ambassa Municipal Councils. The TMC won the Ambassa Nagar panchayat seat. It secured the second-highest number of votes after the BJP in AMC.
TMC cries foul; says election 'invalid'
The TMC had earlier called for the elections to be declared invalid. The CPI(M) also demanded that the elections should be declared invalid in five AMC wards. Blaming the BJP, the party claimed that the polls were "heavily rigged and reduced to a farce." The BJP has dismissed the allegations of rigging, citing a higher voter turnout.
Security heightened amid violence reports
Incidentally, there have also been reports of sporadic violence in Tripura. Hence, heavy security had been deployed across the state. Thousands of personnel from the central paramilitary forces and the Tripura State Rifles were deployed in areas where violence is anticipated, particularly at counting centers. Members of both parties have blamed each other for the violence.
BJP accused of voter intimidation
Voting for the civic body polls was held on Thursday. On the day, Opposition parties accused BJP workers of intimidating their candidates. The TMC and the CPI(M) claim that some people were not allowed to cast their votes. Separately, on Monday, TMC leader Sayoni Ghosh was arrested and accused in an attempt to murder case.