Agartala Tripura’s ruling Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Wednesday retained the 30-seat tribal autonomous body for the third consecutive term.
Elections were held on Sunday for the 28 seats of the 30-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 square km territory.
The government nominates the remaining two members members.
All the 28 seats were won by Left candidates, with the CPI-M sweeping 25 seats. Its allies Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc won one seat each, officials said.
In 2010 too, the Left won all the 28 seats. The council is a miniature of the 60-seat Tripura assembly.
The prominent winners are Ranjit Debbarma, chief executive member of the outgoing TTAADC, executive members Radha Charan Debbarma, Sandhya Rani Chakma, Ranabir Debbarma and Shantanu Jamatia (all CPI-M) and Dhirendra Reang of CPI.
In a significant development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the tribal-based Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) came second in four and 17 seats respectively.
The CPI-M alleged that the IPFT had tried to polarise tribal people along communal and ethnic lines by intensifying its campaign in support of a separate state.
Both the ruling and opposition parties, however, opposed the IPFT’s call for a separate state.
The Congress secured the second positions only in three seats and finished third or fourth in many seats.
The TTAADC was formed in January 1982 under the seventh schedule of the constitution. Its authority was upgraded in August 1984 to protect and safeguard the political, economic and cultural interests of tribals, who make up one-third of Tripura’s 3.7 million population.
A total of 175 candidates, including 10 women, contested the TTAADC elections. Three women, all from CPI-M, were elected. Around 84 percent of the 758,554 voters, mostly tribals, voted.
Since its formation in 1982, the Left Front has controlled the TTAADC except on two terms — 1990-95 and 2000-05. In 1990-95, the Congress- Tripura Upajati Juba Samity controlled the TTAADC. The IPFT ran it in 2000-05.
The CPI-M enjoys substantial support both among the tribals and non-tribals in the state.