Tripura Votes Today, Here’s All You Need To Know About The Crucial Elections

Tripura Votes Today, Here’s All You Need To Know About The Crucial Elections

by Swarajya Staff - Wednesday, February 15, 2023 05:47 PM IST
Tripura Votes Today, Here’s All You Need To Know About The Crucial ElectionsTripura Assembly Elections 2023 - single-phase polling scheduled on 16 February. (Representative image).
  • According to opinion polls and extensive ground surveys, BJP stands a very good chance of returning to power in the state.

Elections to the 60-member Tripura Legislative Assembly will be held Thursday (16 February). The results will be out on 2 March. 

The state will witness a triangular campaign between the BJP, which is fighting to ward off a challenge by a Left-Congress alliance and the new Tipra Motha whose primary goal is creation of a ‘Greater Tipraland’ state comprising tribal areas of Tripura, adjoining Assam and Mizoram and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. 

The BJP is contesting 55 seats, leaving the remaining five to its tribal ally — the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT). 

The CPI(M) is contesting 43 seats while the other constituents of the Left Front — Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the CPI — are contesting one each.

The Congress, with which the Left has forged an alliance, will be contesting 13 seats and the CPI(M) is extending support to an Independent — civil rights activist Puroshattam Roy Burman — in the Ramnagar seat. 

The Tipra Motha will be contesting from 42 seats, of which 20 are tribal dominated and reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs). The Trinamool Congress has fielded candidates in 28 seats. 

There are a total of 259 candidates in the fray and of them, 45 are crorepatis. The BJP has 17 crorepati candidates followed by Tipra Motha with nine and CPI(M) with seven. Six Congress and four Trinamool candidates are also crorepatis, as are two Independent candidates. 

Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma who is contesting from the Charilam constituency is the wealthiest candidate with Rs 15.58 crore worth movable and immovable assets, followed closely by his boss — Chief Minister Manik Saha who declared Rs 13.90 crore worth of assets.

Abhijit Sarkar of the TIPRA Motha is the third richest candidate with assets worth Rs 12.57 crore.

A total of 41 (16 per cent of the total number of candidates) have criminal cases against themselves. In the 2018 elections, out of 297 candidates, 22 (7 percent) nominees had declared criminal cases.

Congress has fielded the largest percentage of candidates with criminal records — seven out of the 13 Congress candidates (54 per cent) have criminal cases. Nine out of 55 BJP candidates and nine of the 43 CPI(M) candidates have criminal cases. 

Of the 259 candidates, 65 are graduates, 55 have completed Class 12 and 39 are matriculates. Thirty-six candidates are class 8 pass-outs and nine are only class 5 pass-outs.

The Last Elections

The BJP, which had a feeble presence in Tripura till late 2016, swept to power in the state and dislodged the CPI(M)-led Left Front from power. 

The BJP won 36 seats while its tribal ally IPFT won eight. The CPI(M), which had bagged 49 seats in 2013, could win in only 16. The other constituents of the Left Front — the Forward Bloc, RSP and CPI — drew a blank as did the Congress. 

The Congress had won ten seats in 2013 while the CPI had won one. The vote share of the Congress which was 36.53 per cent in 2013 fell to a measly 1.79 per cent in 2018. 

The BJP’s vote share also went up dramatically from 1.54 per cent in 2013 to 43.59 per cent in 2018. The IPFT’s vote share was 7.38 per cent.

The vote share of the CPI(M) went down a little from 48.11 per cent in 2013 to 42.22 per cent in 2018. 

The BJP’s astounding gain in 2018 was largely at the expense of the Congress. The entire anti-Left vote shifted to the BJP and even a sizeable section of Left voters supported the BJP.

The strong yearning for change (from 25 years of Left rule) galvanised even those who generally abstained from voting to queue up before poll booths and vote for the BJP. 

The Issues This Time:

  • The Left and the Congress have tried to fan anti-incumbency against the BJP. The two parties have campaigned chiefly on the BJP’s alleged failure to live up to its 2018 poll promises. 

  • The Left and the Congress have alleged corruption by BJP Ministers and functionaries, and have tried to make the state’s under-development a major poll plank. 

  • The opposition parties have also accused the BJP of injecting communal disharmony.

  • The Tipra Motha, which is widely rumoured to have secret ties with the CPI(M) and is said to have fielded weak candidates against the Marxist party, has campaigned hard against the BJP. 

  • The Motha has alleged that tribals have been completely neglected by the BJP and the plight of the tribals has remained the same as it was in 2018.

  • The Motha has accused the BJP of using the tribals to gain power 

  • The BJP has called the Left-Congress alliance an opportunist one, devoid of any ideology or morality

  • The BJP has claimed that it has worked hard for the state and while public expectations have been high, it has done a lot in terms of infrastructure development, connectivity and livelihood opportunities.

  • The BJP has promised more development if it returns to power and has held up the benefits of a ‘double-engine sarkar'

  • The BJP has tried to refresh people’s memories about the dark decades of CPI(M) rule that was marked by a lot of violence, impoverishment and backwardness, in order to caution the masses from supporting the Left-Congress combine

  • The BJP has also accused the Tipra Motha of misguiding the tribals and raising false hopes of ‘Greater Tipraland’ among them. 

  • The BJP has accused the Motha of being a surrogate of the CPI(M) and of helping the CPI(M) erode the tribal vote base of the BJP

  • The BJP has also highlighted federally-funded welfare measures like the PM Awas Yojana, the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, the PM Gram Sadak Yojana, the Ujjwala scheme etc that has benefited common people

Prominent Candidates

  • Chief Minister Manik Saha is contesting from the Town Borodowali constituency. His primary rival is Ashish Kumar Saha of the Congress. Saha was one of the six Congress MLAs who defected to the Trinamool. In August 2017, all the six Trinamool MLAs (including Saha) joined the BJP. Saha returned to the Congress last year.

  • Union Minister of State Pratima Bhoumik is contesting from Dhanpur which had been held by former chief minister Manik Sarkar. Sarkar is not contesting this time and the CPI(M) has fielded a fresh face — Koushik Chanda. The Tipra Motha has also fielded Amiya Dayal Naotia from the seat.

  • BJP state president Rajeeb Bhattacharjee is contesting from Banamalipur which was won by former CM Biplab Kumar Deb in 2018. His primary rival is Gopal Chandra Roy of the Congress. The Trinamool has fielded Santanu Saha from this seat.

  •  CPI(M) leader and chief ministerial candidate Jitendra Choudhury is contesting from the Sabroom Assembly seat. He is facing a tough challenge from BJP’s Sankar Roy.

  • Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman is contesting from the Agartala Assembly seat. He has won this seat in the last six elections. Son of former Congress chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman, Sudip won the seat 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 on Congress tickets. He left the Congress and joined the Trinamool in 2016, but joined the BJP in 2017 and won the seat on a BJP ticket in 2018. He left the BJP last year after his demand that he be made the CM in place of Biplab Deb was sternly rejected by the BJP central leadership. He then joined the Congress. 


According to opinion polls and extensive ground surveys by Jan Ki Baat, the BJP is set to return to power in the state. 

Extensive interviews and ground surveys by Swarajya in Tripura also suggest that the BJP stands a very good chance of winning the elections again. 

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