Congress defeats Forward Bloc in key Tripura by-poll

June 1st, 2009 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Agartala, June 1 (IANS) The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in Tripura suffered a major setback Monday, losing the important by-election to the Town Bordowali assembly constituency to the Congress.
“Congress candidate Ashish Saha defeated Forward Bloc nominee Shyamal Roy by a margin of 3,244 votes,” said Dilip Acherjee, additional chief electoral officer. Forward Bloc is a constituent of the Left Front.

The by-poll was held May 28. While Saha, former chairman of the Agartala Municipal Council, got 12,937 votes, Roy secured 9,693.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contender Sujit Datta, elder brother of a CPI-M legislator, managed to get only 461 votes.

“The result has demonstrated that the wave of change is strong in Left-ruled Tripura too,” said Saha, who has been elected to the assembly for the first time.

“The all India swing in favour of the Congress has been reflected in the by-election,” said Roy, who is also state secretary of the Forward Bloc.

The assembly constituency, which comprises parts of capital Agartala and its adjacent areas, fell vacant following the death of sitting Congress legislator and former Tripura chief minister Sudhir Ranjan Majumder Jan 4.

The main opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress had formed an alliance to fight the Left Front in the by-election.

With this win, the Congress has 10 seats in the 60-member state assembly. The CPI-M has 46 seats, while its junior partners Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) have two and one seats respectively. Congress ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has one seat.

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