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BJP wins 85 per cent panchayat seats in Tripura
Correspondent
 AGARTALA, July 13 - The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to win 85 per cent of the seats in the three-tier Panchayat in Tripura unopposed as opposition parties could not field candidates in most of the seats.

This would ensure control of the ruling party in Tripura over the grassroot level elected bodies – Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zilla Parisads.

Of the total 6,111 seats in 591 Gram Panchayats, the BJP candidates won 5,278 seats uncontested leaving only 833 seats for electoral battle. In Panchayat Samitis too, the BJP candidates appeared victorious in 337 seats out of total 419 seats unopposed setting the stage for election in 82 seats only.

The BJP nominees also won 79 seats out of total 116 seats of Zilla Parisads uncontested and now election would be taken up only in 37 seats, official sources said here on Saturday. It means the ruling party has won 86 per cent of the Gram Panchayat seats while the party has come out victorious in 85 per cent seats of the three-tier Panchayat election uncontested.

After expiry of last date for withdrawal of nomination papers, BJP candidates remained in the fray in all the 6,111 seats of Gram Panchayat, while 611 Congress candidates and 305 CPI(M) nominees remained in the battle for Gram Panchayats. Interestingly, 37 IPFT candidates and 94 Independent candidates are also in the electoral race.

In Panchayat Samitis, the BJP has put up candidates in all the 419 seats of Panchayat Samitis while Congress and CPI (M) count for only 60 and 56 seats of Panchayat Samitis respectively. BJP candidates remained in all the 116 seats of Zilla Parisads while 67 candidates of CPI(M) and 63 nominees from Congress are contesting the battle on July 27.

As per the schedule, the election to remaining seats of three-tier Panchayat would be held on July 27 while counting would be conducted on July 31.

Although opposition Congress and CPI(M) have been alleging of threats and intimations in the process of filing of nomination papers, political observers say it was the weakness of the opposition that has given an edge to the ruling party.

However, the CPI(M) has termed the election process a farce as its candidates were not allowed to submit nomination papers. “Some of our candidates were forced to withdraw nomination papers in the face of threat and intimidations by the party supporters”, said a senior party leader here on Saturday.

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