The Left Front’s massive mandate in the just concluded Tripura assembly elections was largely due to the support of the tribals and Scheduled Castes living in the hilly and rural areas where the ruling party ensured development after insurgency was crushed in 2008.
Political analysts today attributed the Left's success to the people's verdict in favour of 'peace, solidarity and development' after three decades of insurgency in the state.
“People’s verdict went in favour of peace, harmony and development. The LF came back to power on positive votes. In the rural and hilly areas people are getting jobs under various employment generation programmes and they are happy because they can live in peace”, said a political analyst Sekhar Dutta.
The Left stormed back to power for the fifth consecutive term since 1993 getting three-fourths majority for the second straight time in the Assembly elections and bagging 50 of the 60 seats while increasing its tally to 50 from 49 in 2008. The win paved the way for installation of its government for the seventh time.
Out of the total 30 reserved seats, the Left candidates swept 27.
It secured 19 seats out of the total 20 seats reserved for the tribals. In the last elections held in 2008 the Front had won the same number of seats.
It also secured eight seats out of the ten seats reserved for the Scheduled Caste community. In the last elections, seven seats were reserved for the Scheduled Caste and the Front bagged all the seats.
The opposition Congress, which failed to make a penetration in the reserved seats, considered a traditional vote bank of the Communists, had to rest content with ten of the 48 seats it had contested. Its allies, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and the National Congress of Tripura (NCT), failed to open their account.
The Congress won in the urban areas where it could retain all seats except one. The TPCC President Surajit Dutta lost in the Ramnagar constituency by 65 votes to CPI-M's Ratan Das.
The urban-rural divide was in focus with the Congress retaining it’s traditional vote banks in the urban areas and the Left banking on its support in the rural and hilly areas.
The main stress of the Congress manifesto was on urban issues like salary hike for the employees and pensioners and jobs for educated youths. The Congress party is traditionally strong in the urban areas and its manifesto did not have any impact in the rural and hilly areas, the analyst said.
Congress spokesperson Ashok Sinha said, “We had organisational weakness because we did not remain engaged throughout the year. An election can not be won by emotion or any kind of flow. To fight a party like CPI-M, we need strong organisational network”.
The Trinamool Congress did not field any candidate on the plea that the anti-Left vote bank would be divided. But the poll record of the last election showed that they secured only 0.93% votes.