NEW DELHI: After a massive sweep in Tripura Assembly elections 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday will celebrate 'Vijay Diwas' across the country.
On Saturday, the BJP decimated the CPI-M in Tripura - one of the last remaining Left bastions, ousting the party from power after 25 long years.
Pulling off a historic victory, the BJP and its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, together won 43 out of 59 Tripura constituencies. The BJP on its own won 35 seats, four more than the half-way mark, while its ally IPFT won eight seats. In a remarkable performance, the alliance swept all the 20 seats reserved for tribals.
The BJP, which had no MLAs in the outgoing Assembly and polled just 1.5 percent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, secured over 42 percent of votes in the February 18, 2018, Tripura elections.
The CPI-M which headed the ruling Left Front was reduced to just 15 seats - down from 50 in the last elections. None of its partners, including the CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party, could open their account.
The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing Assembly, drew a blank this time.
The saffron outfit was a virtual political non-entity all these years in the tiny state, where it had drawn a blank in terms of seats and secured only 1.5 percent of votes in the Assembly polls five years back.
Tripura went to polls on February 18 and the elections were held for 59 seats. In the last Assembly elections in 2013, the Left Front had secured 50 seats while remaining 10 seats went to the Congress, which this time seems unlikely to open its account.
A total of 290 candidates, including 23 women, of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist, CPI, BJP and Congress and many independents, were in the fray.
Balloting in Charilam (reserved for the tribals) has been deferred to March 12, 2018, after CPI-M candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma died a week before the polls.
Over 92 per cent (excluding 50,700 postal ballots) of Tripura's 2,536,589 voters cast their votes on February 18 in a peaceful election, setting a new record in India's electoral history.