The ruling BJP, which voted for all seats in the citizens’ elections in Tripura, has already won 112 of the 334 undisputed seats in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and in 19 municipal bodies. Still, it is expected that there will be a three-way battle for the remaining seats, given the high-tension drama leading up to the elections, in which TMC sent its top leaders to Tripura and BJP resisted politically.
For TMC, having a strong presence in Agartala and elsewhere in the northeastern state is vital as it hopes to overthrow the BJP in the Tripura state elections in 2023 and also emerge nationally as a strong opposition to the BJP Meghalaya is expected to appear in the Northeast will be bolstered, with 12 Congressional MLAs to join later Thursday. A total of 785 candidates are battling for the remaining 222 seats after 36 candidates withdrew their nominations. There are a total of 334 seats in the city’s local government, including the Agartala Municipal Corporation (51 wards), 13 local councils, and six Nagar Panchayats across the state.
36 candidates, including 15 candidates from opposition CPI-M, four from Trinamool Congress (TMC), eight from Congress, two from AIFB and seven independent candidates, withdrew their nominations, an official said. Ambassa Town Council, Jirania Nagar Panchayat, Mohanpur Town Council, Ranirbazar Town Council, Bishalgarh Town Council, Udaipur Town Council and Santirbazar Town Council have no opposition candidates.
A total of 5,94,772 voters are eligible to vote in the citizen poll, and the number of female voters exceeds that of male voters in urban areas. TMC youth leader Saayoni Ghosh, arrested on charges of criminal intimidation and attempted murder, was released on bail Monday by the Additional Chief Justice Court in West Tripura District.
West Bengal Youth Congress president Trinamool was arrested on Sunday on charges of criminal intimidation, attempted murder and encouraging group disharmony after she raised the party’s slogan “khela hobe” (game of play) prior to a meeting that held the by the Minister of State Biplab Deb. The TMC leadership alleged several party activists were attacked while gathering outside the police station where Ghosh was taken after her arrest.
The state experienced protests and violence in the run-up to the elections. CPI’s Chaudhury alleged that the party’s candidates were forced to withdraw their nominations “because of the terror unleashed by thugs” due to allegiance to the BJP. On Tuesday, days before the Tripura local elections, two rebellious MLAs from the state’s ruling BJP also claimed that recent political violence in Tripura had tarnished the reputation of the party and the prime minister Narendra Modi which could affect the Saffron Party’s poll prospects in the general election in five states.
The MLAs, Sudip Roy Burman and Asish Saha, said at a press conference here that the country’s supreme court, the Tripura High Court, and even the Union’s interior minister, Amit Shah, had to intervene in the recent political violence before the citizen polls. A delegation of TMC MPs also met with the Union’s interior minister, Amit Shah, on Monday after a sit-in strike in front of the Interior Ministry on alleged police violence in Tripura.