The BJP-IPFT combine scripted history today by winning the Tripura Assembly polls, ending 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the state.
The party captured 35 seats on its own while its alliance partner the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) bagged 8 seats, giving the combine a majority in the House.
The elections in 59 seats in the 60-member Assembly were held on February 18. Polling was countermanded in one seat due to the death of a CPI(M) candidate.
The BJP's strong showing came as a surprise for many as the party did not even have a councillor in Tripura. It had secured less than two per cent votes in the 2013 Assembly election in the state.
While the BJP had fielded 51 candidates, its ally IPFT had entered the fray with 9 candidates.
As it happened:
# BJP-IPFT combine scripted history today by winning the Tripura Assembly polls.
Total seats: 59 -- Bharatiya Janata Party: 35 | Communist Party of India (Marxist): 16 | Indigenousn People's Front Of Tripura: 8
5:50 pm: BJP President Amit Shah Ji was camping in Tripura and worked on all possible micro, macro strategies to make this victory possible. This symbolises revolt of the proletariats against these communists. Tribals suffered at hands of Manik Sarkar: BJP strategist Rajat Sethi
5:10 pm: The Tripura result will also have a significant impact on politics in West Bengal: Ravi Shankar Prasad
5 pm: I thank brothers and sisters of Tripura for their massive support to BJP. This is the victory of PM Modi's politics of development and his commitment to the welfare of North-Eastern region of India: Amit Shah
The historic victory in Tripura is as much an ideological one. It is a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation. Today peace and non-violence has prevailed over fear. We will provide Tripura the good government that the state deserves.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2018
The victory of @BJP4Tripura is not an ordinary electoral victory. This journey from ‘Shunya’ to ‘Shikhar’ has been made possible due to a solid development agenda and the strength of our organisation. I bow to every BJP Karyakarta for working assiduously on the ground for years.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2018
People of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura have spoken!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2018
I thank the people of these states for supporting the good governance agenda and ‘Act East Policy’ of @BJP4India & our valued allies. We remain committed to working towards fulfilling the dreams & aspirations of the people.
02:40 pm: BJP President Amit Shah to hold a press conference today at 4 PM; PM Modi to arrive at the party headquarters at 6 PM
02:26 pm: Trends tally: BJP alliance - 41; CPIM - 18; Congress and others - 0
02:25 pm: We have fought elections in a way it should have been in a democratic country: Kiren Rijiju to India TV
02:25 pm: The way country is progressing under the leadership of PM Modi is commendable: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju to India TV
BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav and State President Biplab Kumar Deb amidst celebrations by party workers in Agartala, BJP is poised to win in the state #TripuraElection2018 pic.twitter.com/9Ew1muPApT— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2018
01:42 pm: BJP secures over 42% vote share alone, alliance crosses 50%; Congress reduced to less than 2%
01:36 pm: Rahul Gandhi is not serious about politics and governance and this is clearly visible: BJP's Giriraj Singh to India TV
01:36 pm: Rahul Gandhi knew that Congress is not going to win, so he went abroad: BJP's Giriraj Singh to India TV
01:35 pm: Rahul Gandhi leaves the workers of Congress at crucial times: BJP's Giriraj Singh to India TV
01:30 pm: BJP's Giriraj Singh attacks Rahul Gandhi over Tripura election results, says Rahul Gandhi left the country even before the election results
01:15 pm: In a way, the entire north east is now with the BJP. Initially, we used to say "Congress mukt Bharat' now I think we can say 'Vaampanth Mukt Bharat" also: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
01:01 pm: There are parties that are still trying to politicise caste and religion, but today people have voted for development: Ram Madhav to India TV
12:57 pm: We had promised for development and we have done that. We will always fulfill the commitments we have made: Ram Madhav to India TV
12:57 pm: We have already given responses on elections, our calculations have always been accurate: Ram Madhav to India TV
12:56 pm: We have checked the CPM's style of fighting elections and we are well aware of the wrong ways being used by them. I believe that the decision of BJP's win is fair: Ram Madhav to India TV
12:51 pm: On this win, I would like to say that the people of Tripura had faith in PM Modi: Ram Madhav to India TV
12:47 pm: Amit Shah to reach BJP HQ at 1:30 pm; PM Modi to meet party workers in Delhi at 6:30 pm
12:20 pm: Bihar BJP leader says 'CPM Tripura fort to crumble in next 1 hour'. Jubilant over BJP's comfortable lead in Left bastion Tripura, Modi tweeted: Comrades Comraided by Bjp in Tripura .Red becomes Saffron in NE. (sic)
Comrades Comraided by Bjp in Tripura .Red becomes Saffron in NE.— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) March 3, 2018
CPM Tripura fort to crumble in next 1 hour .— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) March 3, 2018
12:10 am: Biplab Kumar Deb likely to be next Chief Minister as BJP leading comfortably on two-third seats
11:45 am: The parliamentary board of our party will hold a meet today evening to decide on the further course of action after our win in Tripura: Ram Madhav
11:42 am: The results will be clear by evening and BJP will celebrate: Ram Madhav
11:41 am: This is a revolutionary result, all due to the blessings of Tripura Sundari Mata and people of the state and the hard work of PM Modi and party workers: Ram Madhav,BJP
11:40 am: The trends in Tripura are an indication that Tripura will now move forward to the path of development: Ram Madhav, BJP general secretary, Tripura
11:30 am: Huge vindication for consistent development has been seen in North East in last 4 yrs which did not happen in last 7 decades. People have reasons to believe that this is the dispensation that they can look forward to for future growth: Dr Jitendra Singh, BJP
11:27 am: BJP leading on 33 seats, with the alliance on 41; CPIM+ on 18
BJP is all set for a historic win in #Tripura, I would like to congratulate PM Modi, Amit Shah ji and our party workers. Even our performance in #Nagaland and #Meghalaya is historic. Important day in Indian politics: UP CM Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/ixEajcVZ61— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2018
11:15 am: BJP secures lead on over two-third seats in Tripura Assembly polls.
11:14 am: BJP is heading towards a historic win in Tripura: Yogi Adityanath
11:05 am: BJP party office in Agartala breaks into celebrations as the party leading on 38 seats in Tripura Election 2018
10:45 am: BJP looking at a historic win in Left bastion, forges ahead on 40 seats; CPIM leading on 19
10:30 am: BJP office flooded with party workers as party hopes for a historic win.
10:28 am: The trends in all three states point to a new political direction, it will have an effect on national politics as well. We are confident of forming Govt in all three: Kiren Rijiju, MoS Home
10:20 am: Trends reverse as debutante BJP ahead on 36 seats, ruling CPM leading on 23; Congress yet to open account
10:13 am: BJP marches ahead of CPM, ahead on 31 seats, ruling Left leading on 28 seats
10:10 am: Trends are encouraging, I am hopeful and confident that BJP will form the Govt in Tripura: Himanta Biswa Sarma,BJP
10:04 am: We are very confident, let more rounds of counting complete, our leads are going to get much bigger: Brinda Karat, CPI
09:50 am: BJP sources to India TV: Initial votes are based on cadres votes, the picture will be clearer in a few hours
Seeing the earlier trends:, I feel that in Tripura BJP is going to do very well In Nagaland too, our alliance is doing very well and Congress is trailing in Meghalaya. The three results of North East are going to be very good for BJP: Ram Madhav, BJP pic.twitter.com/66V7BPCXDn— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2018
09:39 am: Trends for all 59 seats in; CPM ahead on 31 seats; BJP a close second on 28 seats
09:25 am: First hour of vote counting in Tripura; BJP+ leading on 26 seats; CPM on 28 seats
08:53 am: Trends for Tripura Assembly: CM leading on 25 seats; BJP on 20 seats; Congress on 3 seats
08:45 am: Trends for Tripura Assembly: BJP leading on 20 seats; CPM on 19 seats; Congress on 2 seats
08:29 am: Early trends from Tripura: CPM leading on 10 seats; BJP on 10 seats; Congress on 0
08:20 am: Tripura CM Manik Sarkar leading from Dhanpur
08:15 am: BJP's Sudip Rai Burman gains lead
08:12 am: First trends favour CPIM-led Left Front, Manik Dey leading from Majilshpur
08:02 am: Counting for Tripura Assembly Election 2018 begins
07:40 am: The counting will begin at 8 am
07:30 am: The Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura, Tapas Ray said counting is on in 59 counting halls for 59 constituencies in 20 sub-divisions of all eight districts. A three-tier security arrangement has been made for all the counting centres, Ray said adding that it is expected that the results would be out by five hours.
07:15 am: The prominent candidates in Tripura elections include CPM veteran and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, BJP's Ratan Lal Nath, who was the former leader of opposition, BJP's state party president Biplab Deb, Congress veteran Gopal Chandra Roy, Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) state party president N C Debbarma and CPM's Aghore Debbarma who is the senior most tribal minister in the cabinet.
07:00 am: Tripura Election 2018 Exit Polls predict that BJP will dethrone the ruling party, ending Left Front government's 25-year-run. JanKiBaat-NewsX has predicted that the BJP-IPFT alliance in Tripura will win 35-45 seats with a vote share of 51 per cent. The CVoter Exit Poll has predicted a close finish in Tripura, with the CPI-M likely to get 26 to 34 seats with 44.3 per cent vote share, the BJP and its allies 24 to 32 seats with a vote share of 42.8 per cent, while the Congress may win only 0-2 seats with a vote share of 7.2 per cent.
06:30 am: The BJP's poll war cry for Tripura polls has been 'Chalo Paltai' or 'let's bring change', but the clean image of CPI (M)'s four-time Chief Minister Manik Sarkar may hold the key to the Left continuity.
06:20 am: Four prominent parties are fighting the poll battle in Tripura - Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), Indian National Congress (INC), Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
06:10 am: The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) fielded 57 candidates leaving one seat each to its Left Front partner Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.
06:00 am: The BJP fielded candidates from 51 seats and left nine seats for its electoral ally, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT). Congress candidates contested from 59 constituencies while Trinamool Congress contested from 24 seats.