Agartala, Feb. 6: The CPM in Tripura is all set for a massive victory in the February 24 statewide elections to 587 village committees under the autonomous district councils.
The village committees in Tripura are counterparts of panchayats and introduced by a special state legislation.
On the expiry of the last day of filing nominations yesterday, the CPM captured 75 village committees and altogether 727 seats uncontested.
“The number of village committees and seats won without any contest by the CPM may further increase after the scrutiny and withdrawal of papers. In the 587 village committees, there are 4,597 seats,” the additional state election commissioner, Tamal Mazumder, said.
Since control over the ADC and village committees holds the key to 31 per cent tribal votes in Tripura, the regional parties, IPFT and INPT, had put up a challenge to the CPM in the village committee polls. But there is a division within the IPFT with veteran leader Harinath Debbarma deserting the party and forming the Tripura State Party (TSP).
Similar is the condition of INPT which had banked on an alliance with the BJP. But the state BJP leadership did not show any interest in forging an alliance. “This has paved the way for a four-pronged fragmentation of anti-CPM tribal votes and the election will be a disaster for us. In many areas the Congress and the BJP have not found willing candidates to be nominated for the polls,” said senior INPT leader Amiya Debbarma.
But the IPFT president and former station director of All India Radio Narendra Debbarma still hoped that his party would perform well.
“Had we been able to put up a united fight, results would have been far better. I am sure the IPFT will perform well,” said Narendra.
Meanwhile, armed CPM cadres yesterday beat up six BJP workers in Kalikhola, Monaipathar and Chhankhola under Dhanpur Assembly constituency, represented by chief minister Manik Sarkar.
The BJP spokesperson, Arun Kanti Bhowmik, said three BJP candidates, accompanied by three proposers of their nominations, were returning home from Dhanpur block headquarters under Sonamura subdivision after filing nominations.
“They were allegedly waylaid by a large group of CPM workers led by their leader Paltan De in the Monaipathar area. Despite filing a complaint at Jatrapur police station the police have not yet arrested anybody,” Bhowmik said.
A delegation of BJP leaders, headed by state party president Biplab Kumar Deb, today visited Dhanpur and met the injured candidates and workers in hospital. “We will not rest until the culprits involved in the attack on our workers are arrested. The issue will be taken up all over the state,” Deb said.