ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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TRIPURA-Left Retains Tribal, Rural Support

TRIPURA Left Retains Tribal, Rural Support Malabika Das Gupta TRIPURA, the tiny state in north-east India, made history in the eighth Lok Sabha elections by stemming the Con- gress(I) tide which swept practically the whole of India. The two Lok Sabha seats of the state were retained by the sitting Left Front MPs. Relying the gloomy predictions by the prophets of doom regarding his election prospects (given the supposed loyalty of the tribals to their former rulers and their supposed disenchantment with the Left Front government, not to mention the vast sums of money spent by the Congress(I) on electioneering and the extremist activities in the state), the East Tripura Reserve Constituency seat was retained by Bajuban Riang of the CPI(M) who defeated his nearest rival, the Thpura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS)-supported Congress(I) candidate, Maharaja Kirit Bikram Debbarma, an ex-MP, belonging to the royal family of Tripura, by a margin of 41,067 votes. The West Tripura Parliamentary Constituency seat was won by Ajoy Biswas of the CPI(M) who defeated his nearest rival, the TUJS- supported Congress(I) candidate, Sudhir Majumdar, by a margin of 3,520 votes.1 As Table 1 shows, the percentage of votes cast in favour of the Left Front increased in the state as a whole in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections as compared to the 1980 Lok Sabha elections while the percentage of votes cast in favour of the Congress(I), TUJS and Amra Bangali registered a decline. However, it is more meaningful to compare the results of the 1983 Assembly elections with those of the 1984 Lok Sabha elections because in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress(I) and TUJS fought the elections separately and Amra Bangali was also a force to contend with. In the 1983 Assembly elections as in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, on the basis of an electoral accord, the TUJS and Congress(I) put up a single candidate. In the 1983 Assembly elections, 49.58 per cent of the votes in the state went to Con- gress(I), TUJS and Amra Bangali, while in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections the percentage of votes cast in favour of these three parties was reduced to 47.65. The corresponding figures for the Left Front cent in 1984.

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