Tripura voters root for CPI-M, no clear winner in Meghalaya

March 7th, 2008 - 2:17 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Agartala/Shillong, March 7 (IANS) Tripura’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front was Friday heading for a landslide victory and seemed set to retain power for the fourth straight term while trends and results in Meghalaya indicated a fractured mandate. In Tripura, the CPI-M was leading in 44 seats out of 60. The Congress was leading in just 13 seats, while others accounted for the rest.

Congress leader Dipak Roy and Rajmata Bibhu Kumari Devi were among those trailing in their seats.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was leading by a huge margin.

Tripura made electoral history when a record 92 percent of the 2.03 million voters exercised their franchise in the Feb 23 election. Friday’s result would decide the political fate of 313 candidates, including 31 women and 64 independents.

In Meghalaya, the ruling Congress was leading in 23 seats, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 14 and the regional United Democratic Party (UDP) in 11; smaller parties and independents were leading in eight seats.

Former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma was leading from the Tura assembly seat, while Chief Minister D.D. Lapang was also leading by a huge margin.

According to trends available, the Congress is likely to emerge as the single largest party.

The post-poll scenario is wide open - anything could happen from a possible Congress-UDP government to even a Congress-NCP, or maybe NCP-UDP government.

Political instability and horse-trading have been the hallmark of politics in Meghalaya with ideologies not holding much importance in the state.

In Meghalaya, over 75 percent of the 1.2 million electorate cast their ballots on March 3 to decide the electoral fortune of 331 candidates representing 13 political parties and 73 independent candidates.

Polling in the Bagmara constituency of Meghalaya was countermanded following the death of a candidate. The vote in Meghalaya would determine the fate of six former chief ministers - Lapang, Sangma, Salseng C. Marak, E.K. Mawlong, F.A. Khonglam and J.D. Rymbai.

While the Congress is contesting all 60 seats, the UDP put up candidates in 52 and the NCP in 50.

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