Agartala: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 86% of total seats uncontested in the panchayat elections scheduled on July 27, amid criticism from the Left parties that Opposition candidates were not allowed to file nomination papers by “armed goons” of the saffron party.
A press release issued by the Opposition CPI-M alleged that their candidates for the upcoming panchayat polls in Tripura were being “threatened” and “attacked” by the supporters of ruling BJP.
Candidates were prevented from collecting and filing nomination papers for the election by the armed gangs of the BJP, the press released alleged.
“Bike-borne hoodlums of the BJP were stationed before the election offices so that no Opposition candidate could collect or submit nomination papers for the panchayat elections. In most of the places, police were just onlookers. An atmosphere of fear was created by attacking prospective party candidates, CPI-M offices and party leaders ahead of the election,” the statement alleged, adding: “Altogether, 121 CPI-M candidates were forced to withdraw their nomination papers on the last day of withdrawal of nomination papers on July 11.”
Expressing serious concern over the issue, Tapas Dey, Congress vice-president, said, “Because of the continuous pressure from the BJP goons, altogether 124 Congress candidates were forced to withdraw their candidature ahead of the election.”
Reacting to such allegations, state BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said that the Opposition parties have failed to nominate candidates for the election since to file candidates for the 6,000 seats, a party requires at least 18,000 supporters, which they don’t have.
The BJP spokesperson further said that to remain in the news, Opposition parties are blaming the ruling party. Not a single case of violence has been registered or reported from across the state, he added.
“The ruling BJP has won 5,652 seats, out of the total 6,646 seats, in gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads,” Prasenjit Bhattacharya, secretary, State Election Commission (SEC), said. Now, the elections will be held in total 954 seats, of which 833 are gram panchayats, 82 panchayat samitis and 79 zilla parishads.
Tripura has 591 gram panchayats having 6,111 seats, 35 panchayat samitis with 419 seats and eight zilla parishads having 116 seats.
Altogether, 12,03,070 voters, including 6,16,893 males and 5,86,176 females, would be eligible to exercise their franchise at 2,623 polling stations between 7 am to 4 pm on the polling day. Votes will be counted on July 31 at every block headquarters of the state.