Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates have won nearly 96% seats unopposed in panchayat bye-elections in Tripura, State Election Commissioner GK Rao told reporters here on Tuesday.
Opposition parties, including the BJP’s partner in the ruling coalition, have alleged that the party did not allow their candidates to submit their nomination papers for the September 30 polls.
The BJP and coalition partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura are contesting against each other in the three-tier panchayat bye-elections. The bye-polls for 3,207 gram panchayat seats, 161 panchayat samitis and 18 zilla parishads were necessitated by large-scale resignations after the BJP-led government came to power in March.
The polls will now take place in only 132 gram panchayat seats and seven panchayat samiti seats, as the BJP has won the rest, Rao told PTI. He said bye-elections cannot be postponed as demanded by Opposition parties as no violence or complaint was reported during the nomination process.
“There is not a single complaint against block development officers, who act as returning officers for gram panchayat polls or against district magistrates, who function as returning officers for zilla parishad polls,” Rao said. There is no complaint against police either, he said.
CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said on Tuesday, “First, our elected representatives were forced to resign. Then, when we tried to field our candidates, they [BJP] did not allow us to submit nomination papers…There is no use going to court. We will see what can be done.”
BJP spokesperson Mrinalkanti Deb said,“Our people have won uncontested as the opposition has no candidate to field. Their organisational base has shattered and the people have rejected them.”