Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarma on Thursday won the Charilam Assembly seat with a margin of more than 25,000 votes. Debbarma, who contested on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, is part of Tripura’s erstwhile royal family and is known to have a sizeable following among the state’s indigenous population.
This takes the BJP’s tally in the 60-member Assembly up to 36. Its ally, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, has eight seats.
Though the rest of the state voted on February 18, with the BJP emerging victorious when votes were counted on March 3, the election for the Charilam seat was deferred because the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate for the seat, Ramendra Narayan Debbarma, died while campaigning. The BJP formed its first government in Tripura on March 9.
The election to the Charilam seat was held on March 12, and saw a voter turnout of more than 80%.
The Left Front’s new candidate was Palash Debbarma, while the BJP fielded Jishnu Debbarma.
However, on March 10, the Left Front decided to withdraw the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate citing ongoing violence in the constituency, for which it blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party.