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Tripura Civic Polls: 'Khela Shesh' for TMC? As BJP Wins Prestige Battle, Here's What it Means for Saffron Camp

In Tripura, despite allegations of violence and harassment, the BJP is much ahead of opposition parties. (Image: PTI/File)

In Tripura, despite allegations of violence and harassment, the BJP is much ahead of opposition parties. (Image: PTI/File)

The BJP won all 51 seats in the Agartala Municipal Corporation, and formed a board without opposition for the first time in history.

Agartala was awash in the colour saffron after BJP supporters took to the streets to celebrate the party’s sweeping win in the Tripura civic polls. In the run-up to the polls over the past three months, the TMC was relentlessly attacking the BJP with allegations of violence and harassment. The Mamata Banerjee-led party, however, is not rattled by the loss. The TMC feels it’s only the beginning, while the Left feels it is the main opposing force. Political analysts say the results of this small election will have a definite impact on the 2023 assembly polls. Here’s a look at what the results of the civic polls will mean:

What does a win for the BJP mean?

In Tripura, despite all the allegations of violence and harassment against the BJP, the saffron party is much ahead of the opposition. Voting took place under Supreme Court orders, and massive security force was deployed. According to the BJP, the elections were free and fair, and the people’s mandate is with them.

The TMC, however, is an area of concern for the BJP. The TMC came to Tripura four months ago, but in that time has managed to notch up the second position in various places. The Left has already been there in Tripura for long, but inspite of that the TMC came in second.

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West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar tweeted, “Congratulations to all the Karyakartas of @BJP4Tripura and CM Shri @BjpBiplab for landslide victory in Tripura Municipal elections. People of Tripura have trusted BJP and have rejected the opposition parties including TMC. The TMC’s fake drama didn’t make any impact on people."

What the results mean for the TMC

The TMC has taken the loss in its stride, and said this was only the “beginning" for the party in Tripura. The TMC won a single seat in Ambassa municipality. In Ambassa, the party stood second in 10 wards out of 15, while in Teliamura, it stood second in 13 wards out of 15.

In Agartala Municipal Corporation, too, the TMC is in the second position in different places. Political analysts said in two months, they were in second position but if they continued at this pace they might become a threat to the BJP in future. Susmita Dev said, “We salute our workers that with this intimidation, they have still fought and from here our fight becomes more confident." A party insider said the TMC was expecting this result.

TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted, It is exceptional for a party beginning with negligible presence to successfully contest municipal elections and emerge as the PRINCIPAL OPPOSITION in the state with more than 20% vote share."

Analysts also said as an opposition, the TMC was non-compromising and if they kept up the good work, they will do well. In the 2018 West Bengal panchayat polls, the TMC did not allow the opposition to file nominations. This had an adverse effect on the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, where the BJP won 18 seats. It might happen that without an opposition, (in Tripura, too, it has been accused that the opposition was not allowed to vote), the TMC might gain an advantage in 2023.

Political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty said, “What is interesting is that the opposition vote getting divided in Tripura helped the BJP, which is also an important factor. The opposition should think on this. This division is important from the national perspective as well."

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first published:November 28, 2021, 16:51 IST