December 05, 2021

Tripura: Rigged Election Verdict Not Acceptable: Manik Sarkar

Rahul Sinha

THE CPI(M) does not accept the verdict of the recent civic polls in Tripura as the elections to the 20 urban local bodies were conducted "fraudulently", hence the results of the polls were "not fair", former chief minister and the Party’s Polit Bureau member, Manik Sarkar said on Tuesday, November 30th.

Sarkar said that the ruling BJP along with the civil administration at various places turned the November 25 civic elections into a "farce".

"As the elections were totally manipulated, there is no value as to who finished first, second or third," Sarkar told the media when asked about the performance of the Trinamool Congress.

He said that due to the unprecedented terrorisation of the opposition leaders and workers, including candidates, before the elections by BJP workers and goons, the environment was not at all conducive to conducting the elections freely and fairly.

"On the day of voting, BJP workers captured the polling stations, evicted the election agents belonging to the opposition parties and even attacked the candidates, including women nominees.

"Along with the people, the CPI(M) would face the challenge ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls," said Sarkar.

Manik Sarkar also slammed Narendra Modi for hailing BJP's performance in the civic polls, calling it 'shameful' on the part of the prime minister.

"Modi does not know what is going on in Tripura. Democracy is under attack in the BJP ruled state. People are now turning vocal against the misgovernance of the BJP," Sarkar said.
Replying to state law and education minister, Ratan Lal Nath's accusation of violence and rigging during elections in the Left regime, the former chief minister said that if any incident happened at that time, the police and the administration had taken action.

The ruling BJP captured all the 20 civic bodies, including the politically important Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC), thus making a clean sweep in the civic polls, the results of which were declared on November 28. It had captured 112 of the 334 wards unopposed as no opposition candidate could file nomination or were forced to withdraw because of unprecedented terror.

The BJP candidates won in all the 51 seats in the AMC and in most of the seats in the 19 other municipal councils and nagar panchayats. On the polling day, all the polling agents of opposition were evicted from the booths and there was rampant false voting. Even the urgent orders by the supreme court on the polling date to ensure security and free access to media to the polling booths were violated by the state election commission.

The CPI(M) and the Left Front had demanded that the election to Agartala Municipal Corporation and four other civic bodies be countermanded to pave way for fresh polls but the commission did not agree. So, the Left Front boycotted counting in these five civic bodies. CPI(M) won three seats in three municipal bodies in Kailashahar, Ambassa and Panisagar.

The BJP secured over 59 per cent votes, followed by the Left at 19.65 per cent, the Trinamool Congress at 16.39 per cent and the Congress at 2.07 per cent.