Tripura: Counting of votes underway; both Left and BJP confident of victory
Tripura went to polls on February 18, 2018.
Agartala: Counting of votes in Tripura, which went to polls on February 18, is underway. While some exit polls have predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will dethrone incumbent Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who has been voted to power for five consecutive terms, the Left Front has asserted that it will retain power in the northeastern state.
The major challenged faced by the Manik Sarkar government in the state is an alliance between the BJP and the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura - an anti-left tribal party. However, all the parties are keeping their fingers crossed as the exit polls have failed to give a clear picture.
The JanKiBaat-NewsX predicted that the BJP-IPFT alliance in Tripura will win between 35-45 seats with a vote share of 51 percent, the CVoter exit poll predicted a close finish in Tripura, with the CPI-M likely to get 26 to 34 seats with 44.3 percent vote share, the BJP and its allies 24 to 32 seats with a vote share of 42.8 percent.
Kok Tripura, a cable TV channel among the tribals, which broadcasts programme in Kokbarak -- the language of more than 10 lakh tribals in the state - predicted 'possible outcome' only in 20 Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved seats of Tripura. The channel predicted that the CPI(M) could win only in 4-7 ST reserved seats while the BJP alliance could win in 13-16 seats.
Ahead of the counting of votes, BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar has exuded confidence that the party will secure at least two-third majority in Tripura.
Meanwhile, veteran communist leader Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy expressed doubts over the two exit polls which predicted the BJP's win in Tripura elections, and said the Left front is confident of returning to power.
Noting that some exit polls after the last Assembly elections in Bihar and Delhi had gone awry, the CPI general secretary said he has his own doubts about the latest ones on the northeastern state's poll.
He pointed out that one exit poll has given the BJP-IPFT alliance a vote share of 51 percent, while another has given the ruling Left front 45-46 percent, terming the difference in percentage "a little".
(With agency inputs)