The BJP won the by-elections to the Dhanpur and Boxanagar assembly seats in Tripura’s Sepahijala district on Friday by huge margins, according to the Election Commission. BJP’s Tafajjal Hossain won the Boxanagar seat, which has around 66 per cent minority voters, by 30,237 votes. Hossain got 34,146 votes, while his nearest rival Mizan Hossain of the CPI (M) got 3,909 votes.
BJP candidate Bindu Debnath bagged the Dhanpur seat, which has a significant tribal population, by 18,871 votes. Debnath got 30,017 votes, and his nearest rival Kaushik Chanda of the CPI (M) got 11,146 votes.
Alleging large-scale rigging during the polling and inaction by the Election Commission, the opposition CPI (M) boycotted the counting of votes. The two seats witnessed a one-on-one fight between the ruling BJP and the CPI (M) with the other two opposition parties, Tipra Motha and Congress, not fielding any candidates.
Thanking the people of the state for the victories, BJP state president Rajiv Bhattacharjee said the CPI (M) that ruled the state for decades will be extinct in the near future.
“We were sure about winning the by-elections because of the double-engine government’s developmental works. I thank the people for reposing faith in PM Narendra Modi and CM Manik Saha. The CPI (M), which ruled the state for years, will be extinct in the near future,” he told reporters.
The polling for the by-elections was held on September 5. An average turnout of 86.50 per cent was recorded in the two seats. The counting was held at the Sonamura Girls’ School amid tight security.
The by-election to the Boxanagar constituency was necessitated by the death of CPI (M) MLA Samsul Haque. Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik’s resignation as the MLA of Dhanpur necessitated the by-election in that seat.
The BJP won the Dhanpur seat for the first time in the assembly polls held seven months ago, and retained it in the by-election. The ruling party wrested the minority-dominated Boxanagar seat from the CPI (M) in a significant victory in the bypoll.
Hossain, who won the Boxanagar seat, said people voted in large numbers for the BJP to teach the CPI (M) a lesson.
“In the assembly election in February, the CPI (M) won the seat by misleading people of the minority community. But this time, they voted for the BJP in large numbers to teach the CPI(M) a lesson. The CPI (M) will be reduced to a party of the past soon,” he claimed.
“The CPI (M) knew they would lose the election. That’s why it boycotted the counting,” he said.
With these victories, the BJP’s tally in the 60-member assembly increased to 33. Its ally IPFT has one MLA, while the opposition Tipra Motha has 13 MLAs, CPI (M) has 10 and the Congress has three MLAs.