The 'NaMo wave' failed to influence voters in Tripura, which remained a Communist bastion with the Left Front retaining both the Lok Sabha seats with record margins and a vote share of 64.0 per cent. The results could not be declared yesterday because of EVM malfunctions.
Jitendra Chowdhury, a former industries and commerce minister, who won the state assembly elections seven times, won the East Tripura (ST) seat defeating his nearest Congress candidate and an educationist, Sachitra Debbarma by a margin of 4,84,358 votes.
Likewise, Sankarprasad Dutta, a trade unionist contested the West Tripura Parliamentary constituency for the first time and defeated his rival Congress candidate, Arunoday Saha, a former vice-chancellor of Tripura University by a margin of 50348 votes. In 2009, CPI-M candidate, Baju Ban Riyan had trounced Dibachandra Hrankhawl of Congress by 2,95,581 votes in the East Tripura (ST) constituency in 2009. CPI-M candidate Khagen Das had defeated Sudip Roy Burman of Congress by 2,48,549 votes in the West Tripura constituency.
The division of votes between the opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress helped the Left Front sail through with a greater margin. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, a CPI(M) politburo member said, "Even we could not imagine that people would lend such huge support. This is encouraging for us." Secretary of the state CPI(M) Bijan Dhar said the victory was the result of the good governance of the Left Front government, which ruled the state continuously since 1978 except for a stint of five years from 1988 to 1993.