December 05, 2021

Tripura: Farce of a Rigged Election

THE farce enacted in the name of municipal elections in Tripura has led to the BJP “winning” 329 of the 334 seats in the 20 urban local bodies, including the Agartala municipal corporation.  Of these, 112 seats were won unopposed by which seven local bodies were captured without a contest. 

For the 13 other urban bodies, including the Agartala corporation, elections were held on November 25.  What was witnessed was large-scale booth capturing, attacks on polling agents of opposition candidates and prevention of voters wanting to cast their vote.  As a result, all 51 seats in the Agartala corporation were won by the BJP – a perfect record indeed!

The CPI(M) and the Left Front had demanded the countermanding of the elections to the Agartala municipal corporation and four other municipalities as they were totally rigged.  In the eight other municipal bodies, booth capturing was more selective, though tactics of intimidating and obstructing voters took place everywhere. 

The fact that Narendra Modi lauded the result as the people’s preference for good governance and Amit Shah hailed it as the people’s unwavering trust in the BJP’s politics of development shows that the rigging exercise had the blessings of the top leadership of the BJP.

The threats and violence against CPI(M) candidates, activists and polling agents before polling day have continued after the election results were announced on November 28.  This is the fascistic pattern of violence which has been instituted in the state ever since the BJP came to power in 2018. In many places, the CPI(M) cadres and supporters braved the attacks and were successful in casting their votes.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC), which entered the fray with great fanfare, has tasted the same bitter medicine that it has been administering in West Bengal of falsification of elections through violence and intimidation. The claim of the TMC that it has emerged as the main opposition in the civic polls has no basis.  Even the distorted results show that the Left Front has emerged with 19.65 per cent of the vote, while the TMC has got 15.39 per cent. The Left Front came second in 149 wards while the TMC has come second in 56.

Faced with the growing alienation of the people due to the misrule of the Biplab Deb government, the BJP has to rely increasingly on violence and rigging to sustain its rule. 

(December 1, 2021)