The BJP won the by-elections to the Dhanpur and Boxanagar assembly seats in Tripura's Sepahijala district on Friday, according to the Election Commission.
BJP's Tafajjal Hossain won the Boxanagar seat, which has around 66 per cent minority voters, by 30,237 votes. Hossain got 34,146 votes, while his nearest rival Mizan Hossain of the CPI(M) got 3,909 votes.
BJP candidate Bindu Debnath bagged the Dhanpur seat, which has a significant tribal population, by 18,871 votes. Debnath got 30,017 votes, and his nearest rival Kaushik Chanda of the CPI(M) got 11,146 votes.
Alleging large-scale rigging during the polling and inaction by the Election Commission, the opposition CPI(M) boycotted the counting of votes. The two seats witnessed a one-on-one fight between the ruling BJP and the CPI(M) with the other two opposition parties, Tipra Motha and Congress, not fielding any candidates.
The polling for the by-elections was held on September 5. An average turnout of 86.50 per cent was recorded in the two seats. The counting was held at the Sonamura Girls' School amid tight security.
The by-election to the Boxanagar constituency was necessitated by the death of CPI(M) MLA Samsul Haque. Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik's resignation as the MLA of Dhanpur necessitated the by-election in that seat.
The BJP won the Dhanpur seat for the first time in the assembly polls held seven months ago, and retained it in the by-election. The ruling party wrested the minority-dominated Boxanagar seat from the CPI(M) in a significant victory in the bypoll.
With these victories, the BJP's tally in the 60-member assembly increased to 33. Its ally IPFT has one MLA, while the opposition Tipra Motha has 13 MLAs, CPI(M) has 10 and the Congress has three MLAs.