Manik Sarkar, the four-time Chief Minister of Tripura said that the BJP victory in assembly elections of Tripura was “completely unexpected” and caught him off guard.
“We will review this defeat… We were not prepared for such a result,” Sarkar, 69, told NDTV in an exclusive interview, his first after the CPM’s stunning defeat in the assembly elections at the hands of the BJP and its alliance partner Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, or IPFT.
Later back home, Sarkar informed that the party would sit down to analyze the results.
“This is a completely unexpected result. But you see, results were just published yesterday night. So now we are collecting all the information from different corners of the state,” he said, adding that it would not be correct to draw a conclusion before analysing the statistics. “So we shall have to wait,” he said.
Manik Sarkar, known in the country as India’s poorest Chief Minister, was single-handedly leading his party’s campaign which at times appeared to pale in front of the BJP’s aggressive campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.
The BJP-IPFT coalition has swept the polls in Tripura, the results of which were declared on Saturday, winning 43 of the 59 seats for which elections were held. The BJP secured 35 seats in the 60-member assembly while its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, a tribal based party, has won eight seats.
Elections were held for 59 seats and countermanded in one (tribal reserve Charilam seat) following the death of a CPI-M candidate a week before the February 18 polls.
Chief Minister of Tripura Sarkar, has been in the election fray for the past 37 years (since 1981), and has been elected to the state assembly seven times — in 1981 (by-polls), 1983, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018.