The ruling Left Front (LF) in Tripura on Thursday stormed back to power for the fifth consecutive term since 1993 getting a three-fourths majority for the second straight time in the Assembly elections.
Inflicting a crushing blow on Congress and other opponents, the Left Front led by 64-year-old Chief Minister Manik Sarkar bagged 50 seats in a House of 60 increasing its tally by one from 49 in 2008 paving the way for installation of its government for the seventh time since 1967 when the first assembly polls were held. LF bagged 42 seats in 2003.
All ministers of the outgoing ministry except Science and Technology minister Joy Gobinda Debroy of RSP were re-elected.
LF's major partner CPM bagged 49 of the 55 seats it contested with coalition partner CPI, which contested 2 seats, getting one, while the RSP which fought two seats and Forward Bloc in one, drew a blank.
The Congress which contested 48 seats managed to retain 10, while allies INPT which fought for 10 seats and National Conference of Tripura in one were unable to win even one seat. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during his election campaign had asked voters to throw out the Left Front government from the state.
Manik Sarkar won the Dhanpur constituency defeating Congress candidate Shah Alam by 6,017 votes. Sarkar had won by 4,000 votes the last time.
Finance minister Badal Chowdhury made electoral history by defeating his nearest Congress rival by 12,429 votes in the Hrishyamukh constituency, the highest victory margin in Tripura Assembly elections.
Other prominent LF winners were Agriculture minister Aghore Debbarma from Asharambari constituency, Industries minister Jitendra Chowdhury from Manu, and Jail minister Manindra Reang from Shantirbazar (ST).
Among Congress winners were Leader of the Opposition Ratan Lal Nath from Mohanpur and TPCC President Sudip Roy Burman from Agartala.
Prominent losers were INPT President Bijoy Hrankhawl from Ambassa and former TPCC president Surajit Dutta from Ramnagar.
CPM State Party Secretary Bijan Dhar said, "It is a victory of the people of the state, and a victory of peace and development and good governance of the sixth Left Front government."
Leader of the Opposition Ratan Lal Nath said, "We accept defeat and will review the causes for it."