Four by-elections of 7th Left Front : Subversion and betrayal undermining opposition


Tripura under the ruling 7th left front government is all set to face twin by-polls to Barjala (SC) constituency in Sadar subdivision , north of Agartala, and Khowai assembly constituency in the namesake district and subdivision. As is well known, the Khowai assembly seat fell vacant in August this year following the death of incumbent MLA and CPI (M) chief whip in the assembly Samir Debsarkar and resignation of incumbent MLA of Barjala (SC) seat Jiten Sarkar, a longtime CPI (M) leader of Teliamura and former speaker of the assembly. Jiten had been forced to have recourse to resignation because of the mafia-like activities of former leader of the opposition Sudip Roy Barman who had left Congresss to join Trinamool with five other MLAs in personal interest. After being insulted and humiliated on repeated occasions by Sudip , jiten  had decided to resign  his seat to avoid trouble.

Earlier in 2015 two by-elections were held to Pratapgarh (SC) seat south of Agartala town  and Surma (SC) seat in Kamalpur subdivision following the consecutive deaths of sitting CPI (M) MLAs, former minister Anil Sarkar and Sudhir Das. There was virtually no contest in the polls as the ruling party easily retained  both the seats though in the by-election to Amarpur constituency held in December 2015 BJP forged ahead of Congress but conceded a huge victory to the CPI (M). But for the bankruptcy of the Congress leadership dominated by Sudip Roy Barman  who , following in the footsteps of  his father and former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman , only looks for  pelf and power , Congress could have done reasonably well at least in Amarpur assembly constituency. But that was not to  be.
In the upcoming by-elections to Barjala (SC) and Khowai assembly seats also the ruling CPI (M) is all set to retain the seats because of an  inevitble three-pronged divisions in opposition votes involving BJP, Congress and Trinamool. All the parties have put up candidates and the campaign is on . As always, the ruling left front is well on course to intensifying the campaign . The chief minister Manik Sarkar will campaign in both the seats. The BJP is trying to put up a reasonable show but the lack of a strong leadership and cadre base and failure to dent the support base of CPI (M) in Khowai will stand  in the way of BJP's success.

But the state eagerly awaits the performance of Trinamool. Sudip Roy Barman who broke away from Congress only to bolster his personal interests and aggradizement is moving in the Barjala seat but he  is unlikely to make much headway . Sudip's attempt to forcibly capture a  prime land with building in Colonel Chowmuhuni area early this month coupled with report of  his unholy alliance with Mukul Roy, all India vice  president of Trinamool Congress has already put paid to Trinamool's hopes of performing well in the eletion ; in fact Trinamool's presence in the poll fray will  only strengthen the chances of ruling CPI (M) which otherwise is confronting the ire of voters on anti-incumbency issue. There will be a show of contest, no doubt but the three-way division of opposition votes will ensure a massive victory for the left front and the contribution of Sudip Rioy Barman and his Trinamool to  the  process will be immense.

By Tapas Dey

Opinions expressed in the article are the writer's own and TNT-The Northeast Today may not hold the same views