After BJP’s spectacular win in Tripura civic polls, CPM’s Manik Sarkar hits back

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AGARTALA: Two days after the declaration of the Tripura civic polls results, the leader of Opposition in the assembly and former chief minister Manik Sarkar on Tuesday alleged large-scale fraud in the elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party won most of the 339 seats;

Sarkar, a four-time chief minister, said people were turned back from polling centres and its party workers assaulted. “False voting was done. Many voters were forced to return from the polling centres without casting votes and many were physically assaulted,” he said.

Of the total 334 civic body seats in the state, the BJP netted 329 seats including 112 seats uncontested. The CPM won only three seats, one seat each went to the Trinamool Congress and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma’s party TIPRA Motha.

The ruling BJP got a whopping 59.01% votes in the elections held on November 25, leaving the CPM and Trinamool Congress squabbling about the second slot. The State Election Commission data indicated the CPM was a distant runner up with 18.13% of all valid votes cast for the 14 civic bodies as compared to the Trinamool Congress which ended up with a 16.39% vote share.

The local body election witnessed a voter turnout of 81.54%, according to the State Election Commission.

Sarkar said his party doesn’t accept the results.

“Elections were not even conducted… We are not calculating about first, second or third positions. We don’t accept the poll results,” Sarkar told reporters at the CPM headquarters in Agartala.

The veteran CPM leader said the poll panel was not able to ensure enforcement of the model code of conduct, accusing the BJP of triggering violence before and during polls because, he said, it knew the people won’t vote for the ruling party.

“Democracy came under attack here. People are becoming discontented. Is it impossible for the Prime Minister to know what’s going on here?” he said.

“Partisan fascism is increasing here. Examples of such were visible during the civic polls. These incidents can’t occur without conscious political decision, “ he said.

For the future, Sarkar said the CPM party will concentrate on bringing people together over food and livelihood issues. “We will unite people to fight for livelihood issues and to exercise their democratic rights”, Sarkar said.

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