Polls in Tripura East has been deferred from 18 April to 23 April owing to due to ‘security reasons’, said the Election Commission of India.
Tripura East is one of the two Lok Sabha seats of North-Eastern state of Tripura. The seat has been a traditional Left pocket borough with the CPI winning the first three Lok Sabha elections. The Congress won Tripura East for the first time in 1967 when three-time MP Dasarath Deb faced defeat. Post that, Congress has only won the seat twice, once in 1989 and next in 1991. Even during the 1984 wave election, CPIM’s Baju Ban Riyan won. Riyan has won Tripura east constituency seven times. In 2014, CPIM fielded Jitendra Choudhury who won big, polling 65% votes.
Tripura East is a reserved constituency for Scheduled Tribes. The seat has 30 Assembly sections under it. The date has been deferred from April 18 to April 23 due to adverse report on law and order.
Long a Left fort, Tripura politics has seen rapid progress in the last five years. BJP, which was a minor party in the state for many decades used the Modi wave to come to power. In the Panchayat election, the party further strengthened its hold.
To give an indication of BJP’s hold, Left only won 9 out of the 30 Assembly seats which are under Tripura East Lok Sabha in the last assembly election. With Pradyut Debbarman taking charge of Congress, the party has been able to regain some amount of clout in the state. Her sister Pragya Debbarman is Congress candidate from the seat.
Left after the battering it received in the last election is still trying to find its feet. It has renominated sitting MP Jitendra Choudhury.
IPFT, which is an ally of BJP in the state is independely fighting the Lok Sabha election. Party supremo NC Debbarma who is also the Revenue Minister in the state is the IPFT candidate. BJP has fielded relatively lightweight candidate Rabati Mohan. The party though is hoping its organisation and PM Modi’s clout will be enough to carry them through,