BJP wins 96% Tripura rural bypoll seats uncontested

The ruling BJP in Tripura has won around 96% seats uncontested in the by-elections for the three-tier panchayat polls in the State scheduled to be held on September 30, State Election Commissioner G.K. Rao said on Tuesday. Over 3,000 seats were vacant as a large number of members of gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads resigned after the BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) combine came to power in the State in March. Opposition parties and the IPFT, which is contesting the rural bypolls separately, have alleged that elected representatives were forced to resign by the BJP and it also did not allow their candidates to submit nomination papers for the elections. The bypolls were scheduled to be held in 3,386 seats — 3,207 in gram panchayats, 161 in panchayat samitis and 18 zilla parishad seats. However, 3,247 of these (95.89%) were won by the BJP uncontested. “By-elections would be held in only 132 gram panchayat seats, and seven panchayat samiti seats on September 30 as the rest of the seats were won by the BJP uncontested,” Mr. Rao said. On the demand of opposition parties and the IPFT for postponement of the by-elections alleging that the BJP did not allow their candidates to submit nomination papers, he said it cannot be done as no violence was reported in the offices where the nomination papers were submitted.
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