BJP Sweeps Panchayat Bypolls


Agartala: The ruling BJP on Wednesday swept the bypolls for the vacant seats in different Panchayati Raj Institutions, bagging 113 Gram Panchayat seats, officials said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) secured nine seats in Gram Panchayats, Tripura State Election Commission (TSEC) officials said.
The opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress won four seats each. The BJP also won five Panchayat Samiti seats while the CPI-M managed only two seats.

The by-elections to 3,386 seats — 3,207 Gram Panchayat seats, 161 Panchayat Samiti seats and 18 Zilla Parishad seats — were scheduled for September 30, but polling was held in only 130 Gram Panchayat and seven Panchayat Samiti seats in 11 blocks as over 96 per cent of the seats were won by the BJP candidates unopposed.

These seats fell vacant following large-scale resignations of elected representatives of the Left and other parties after the BJP-led coalition came to power in Tripura in March.
Some of the three-tier Panchayat seats were lying vacant also due to the death of the elected representatives.

Almost all parties, including the BJP’s junior partner IPFT, had been demanding rescheduling of the September 30 Panchayat elections to ensure the participation of all parties following large-scale violence during electioneering.

The Opposition CPI-M-led Left Front, the Congress and the IPFT, a tribal-based party, had separately urged the state EC to reschedule the election process as they claimed that “massive violence prevented their nominees from filing papers.