10 reasons: How India's poorest Chief Minister lost his last citadel

New Delhi, March 3: Why the Red Fort crumbled in Tripura?  Early indications of the crumbling Red Fort was seen in the two exit polls predicting that the saffron party-led alliance may win over 35 seats in the state. Despite large-scale snags in VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails) and EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), over 92 per cent (excluding 50,770 postal ballots) of Tripura's 2,536,589 voters cast their votes on February 18, setting a new record in the electoral history of India.

It seems that the people of Nagaland adhered to what PM Modi said in one of his rallies, "Throw away manik (Sarkar government) and go for 'hira' for prosperity and development in the state in the upcoming election.'Hira' means, the prime minister ha said, "H for highway, I for Internet way, R for roadways and A for airways".  "Tripura remained backward for a long time and there has been no development in the state. So we want to bring transformation through transportation. People should throw Manik now and wear hira," the prime minister had said. Here are the 10 things you need to know as the lotus blooms in Tripura an snatches victory from the jaws of the Left government:

 1. In a saffron surge in the northeast, the BJP put up a spectacular show in Tripura on Saturday, ending 25 years of the Left rule, and was looking to formation of coalition governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya in the face of hung verdicts.

2. The BJP and its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, were together leading in majority constituencies. The BJP on its own was ahead in 33 seats, two more than the half-way mark, while its ally was leading in seven. The IPFT has already bagged one seat till the time of filing this report.

3. In Tripura, the BJP which had no MLAs in the outgoing assembly and had polled just 1.5 per cent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, recorded a scintillating performance securing over 42 per cent of votes in the February 18 elections.

4. The Left Front, which had 50 seats in the last elections, was ahead in just 18 seats. The CPI-M-CPI alliance has polled over 44 per cent of votes, about six per cent less than the last elections. The CPI-M alone has polled 43.3 per cent, one per cent higher than the winning BJP.

5. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who has been heading the Left Front government for the last 20 years, was ahead in Dhanpur constituency.

6. The BJP's leading candidates included state party President Biplab Kumar Deb (Banamalipur), who could be the next Chief Minister of the state. The other winners are Sudip Roy Barman (Agartala), Ratanlal Nath (Mohanpur), A. Rampada Jamatia (Bagma), Dilip Kumar Das (Barjala), Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl (Karamchara), Ashish Kumar Saha (Bordowali), Ratan Chakraborty (Khayerpur), Atul Debbarma (Krishnapur) and Sushanta Chowdhury (Majlishpur).

7. IPFT's leading candidates included Narendra Chandra Debbarma (Takarjala), Mevar Kumar Jamatia (Asharambari) and Prashanta Debbarma (Ramchandraghat).

8. "We are happy with the trends in Tripura where the BJP looks like forming a government with 40 or more seats," BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav told reporters in Agartala. He conceded that the CPI-M gave a good fight but people voted for change to throw up "a revolutionary verdict, a historic verdict".The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing assembly, failed to even open its account this time. Many of its candidates may even lose their deposits.

9. Among the notable Left candidates trailing were sitting Tribal Welfare Minister Aghore Debbarma (Asharambari), Forest and Rural Development Minister Narensh Chandra Jamatia (Bagma), Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar (Khayerpur), Bijay Laxmi Sinha (Kamalpur), Samiran Malakar (Pabiachara), Manoranjan Debbarma (Mandai Bazar), Ratan Das (Ramnagar), Manindra Chandra Das (Kalyanpur-Promodnagar) and Chief Whip Basudeb Majumder (Belonia).

9. Among the Left Front's leading candidates were Health and PWD Minister Badal Choudhury (Hrishamukh), Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty (Chandipur), Information, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha (Bishalgarh), Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sahid Chowdhury, Assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debbarma and Jail Minister Manindra Reang.

10. A total of 290 candidates, including 23 women of the ruling CPI-M, Communist Party of India, BJP and Congress and many independents, were in the fray. Polling in Charilam (reserved for the tribals) was deferred to March 12 after CPI-M candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma died a week before the February 18 polls. Over 92 per cent (excluding 50,700 postal ballots) of Tripura's over 25 lakh voters cast their votes on February 18, setting a new record in India's electoral history.

News24Bureau with Agencies