July 27, 2014

Left Front Sweeps the Panchayat Polls in Tripura

Rahul Sinha

CLOSE on the heels of its spectacular victory in the parliamentary elections in the state, the Left Front in Tripura again swept the three tier panchayat elections held in the state. In the elections held on July 15, the rural masses of the state reposed their faith in the red flag in an unambiguous and unprecedented manner reaffirming their increasing support for the Left Front and the CPI(M). The elections were to be held for 116 seats of 8 zilla parishads, 419 seats of 35 panchayat samitis and 6111 seats of 591 gram panchayats. However the LF candidates had won uncontested in two seats of ZP, 38 seats of PS and 980 seats of GPs as opposition parties could not put up any candidate in these seats due their organisational weakness. In two seats of GP, polling was withheld due to the death of candidates. By-election for four vacant seats of three urban bodies of Sabroom (2), Udaypur (1) and Ranirbazar (1) was held simultaneously. The polling was peaceful and incident free. The voter turnout was nearly 90%. The final results are a clear and unambiguous mandate of rural Tripura in favour of peace, harmony and development which are synonymous with Left Front in the state. Out of the 591 GPs, Left Front got majority in 563 (more than 95%). INC could win in 19, BJP won in 5 GPs and TMC will be forming board in 3 GPs. In only one GP, no party got a majority. The Left Front was able to win more than 74 GPs that were won by the INC last time. In 22 blocks, the opposition failed to win even a single GP. Left Front got a majority in all the 35 panchayat samitis. Out of the 419 seats of panchayat samitis, Left Front won in 412 seats (98.3%), leaving only 7 seats for INC, other parties could not win a single seat. Out of the 116 seats of eight zilla parishads, CPI(M) candidates of the LF won in 115 (99%) , conceding just one seat to INC. The only seat of ZP that INC could win was in the Unokoti zilla parishad. Left Front candidates won in all the four seats of urban bodies that went to by-poll. In the elections held in 2009, the Left Front had won in 81.02% of GPs, 87.63% of panchayat samiti seats and 90.24% of ZP seats. In a press conference at CPI(M) state committee office on July 19, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar thanked the voters for reposing their faith in a bigger way. He also thanked the thousands of workers, supporters for the hard work they have done during the campaign. He thanked the sections of media who have given a positive coverage to this election and also thanked the sections of the media who have spread concocted stories based on blatant lies to mislead and provoke the masses against Left Front. These news have served to further strengthen the fighting spirit of the Left Front workers and supporters to defeat these forces. Bijan Dhar said, INC has continued to reap the fruits of its anti- people policies at the national level in these elections too. Also the allegations of rampant corruption against the Congress ruled GPs and their attitude to deny any kind of probe by indulging in violence against the officers have not gone down well with the people. The people have seen how after assuming office on the promise of bringing good days, the Modi government is trying to polarise the country on communal lines and how no pro-people steps have been taken, instead steps to further heap burdens on the common man to appease the big business are afoot. This experience has been behind the people’s rejection of BJP. Also in the light of the experiences of the anarchy in West Bengal under the TMC regime people have rejected them. At some places they had forged an opportunistic alliance against us. But people have rejected that too in most of the cases. He said, this mandate has given us more responsibility which we will discharge taking people with us. To fulfill the aspirations of the people we will organize struggles to ensure adequate funds for rural development are released by the centre and also mobilise people to wage political and ideological struggle against the anti- Left forces. CPI(M) state secretariat member Gautam Das said, this election was marked with a huge enthusiasm among the women whose demand for equal rights have been honoured by provision of 50% reservation both in seats and posts of office bearers in the three tier panchayat elections this time. He said all the anti-Left forces at the grass root level had forged an unholy opportunistic alliance to prevent division of anti-Left votes. This has attributed to our losing some GPs and the BJP and the TMC getting few panchayats. We hope people will see through this opportunistic alliance and shall be on guard against them and wage struggles to make these panchayats to work for people. He said, the budget of the Modi government has hinted at reducing expenditure in rural development and social welfare. There is no mention of giving the states a higher share of taxes and also there are apprehensions about dismantling of MGNREGA . The LF will mobilise people to fight against any such step, he said.