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Tripura CM Manik Saha wins electoral debut as BJP bags 3 of 4 assembly seats in bypolls

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged three of the four assembly seats in Tripura where bypolls were held Thursday, with Chief Minister Manik Saha of the BJP winning his first-ever direct election from the Town Bardowali constituency.

Saha replaced Biplab Kumar Deb as the chief minister of Tripura in May this year.

Apart from Town Bardowali, the BJP won Jubarajnagar and Surma, while Sudip Roy Barman of the Congress managed to bag the Agartala seat.

Candidates fielded by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is looking to expand its footprint beyond West Bengal, placed fourth in all four seats, according to the Election Commission’s website.

The defection of former BJP MLAs Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Kumar Saha to the Congress earlier this year necessitated bypolls in Agartala and Town Bardowali seats, respectively. While the Jubarajnagar seat fell vacant after the death of CPI(M) leader and former Assembly speaker, R.C. Debnath, in Surma, the sitting BJP MLA Ashish Das was disqualified after he joined the TMC.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, who was contesting his first-ever direct election, won by a margin of 6,104 votes over his opponent, Asish Kumar Saha of the Congress. Prior to his appointment as chief of BJP’s Tripura unit, Saha was a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament.

“The winning margin was less than expected because there was some understanding between the Congress and CPI(M). It’s clear the latter transferred their votes to the CPI(M). Votes were given for development. I’ll work hard. A tree is known for its fruits. I’ll try my best,” an Indian Express report quoted CM Saha reacting to his electoral win.

Meanwhile, Sudip Roy Barman of the Congress defeated BJP’s Ashok Sinha in his home constituency of Agartala with a margin of 3,163 votes.

In Jubarajnagar, BJP’s Malina Debnath trumped CPI(M)’s Sailendra Chandra Nath by a margin of 4,572 votes, while in Surma, Swapna Das of the BJP emerged victorious, with Independent Baburam Satnami trailing Das by 4,583 votes.

The TMC lost its deposit on all four seats with party leader Sushmita Dev blaming the defeat on alleged incidents of political violence in the state.

“We lost out to the fact that because of the violence that happened in the past, we were unable to build our organisation at the grassroots level and the other parties who were opposing the BJP, they’ve been around for much longer… We have to start over again,” Dev said Sunday.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: Simranjit Mann of SAD-Amritsar is back with big win in Sangrur, blow to AAP & Bhagwant Mann

Source: The Print

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