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The coalition between the Bhartiya Janata Pary (BJP) and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) has scripted history in Tripura by winning the Assembly polls, ending the Left Front’s 25 years of uninterrupted rule.
The coalition, the BJP with 23 seats on its own and its partner with seven seats, has bagged a majority in the House.
The elections in 59 seats in the 60-member Assembly were held on February 18. Polling was countermanded in one seat due to the death of a Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate.
The BJP is also leading in another 12 constituencies and the IPFT in one. The party inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Left Front, which had never faced such a situation even when it had lost power in 1988 to the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samity coaltion.
The BJP’s strong win came as a surprise for many, as the party did not even have a councillor in Tripura. It had secured less than two per cent votes in the 2013 Assembly election in the state.
BJP leader Ram Madhav said the people in the state have voted for a change. “They have supported our slogan for change,” he said, adding the CPI(M) gave a “spirited fight”.
Buoyed by BJP’s maiden win in Tripura and impressive performance in Nagaland and Meghalaya, party chief Amit Shah said it is an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and a reflection of the future results in Karnataka and the next Lok Sabha elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the BJP’s performance in Tripura was people’s answer to “fear, lies and confusion” being spread against his government. He targeted the Congress, saying it was never so diminished as a party as it is now.
BJP in-charge in Tripura and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “People were fed up with the Manik Sarkar government which has been ruling the state for more than two decades and wanted to get rid of the CPI(M) rule.”
He also said the BJP’s alliance with the tribal dominated IPFT has also helped the saffron party.