Agartala, March 7 (IANS) The people of Tripura rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's appeal to oust the Left and voted overwhelmingly for the Left Front fifth time in a row in the state, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said here Thursday.
Rahul Gandhi, during his poll campaign in the state, had called upon the people of the state to vote out the Left Front from Tripura but the alliance retained power for the fifth consecutive time in the Feb 14 polls. The alliance secured three-fourths majority by winning 50 of the 60 assembly seats. The Congress managed only 10 seats.
"In the electoral history in India people of Tripura scripted two path-breaking records -- cast 93.57 percent vote in the polls and 52.30 percent people gave vote to the Left parties. No party or alliance in India secured such a huge mandate in any poll in India," Karat said.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in Tripura assumed office March 6 with the 64-year-old Marxist leader Manik Sarkar at the helm as chief minister. Sarkar assumed office for a record fourth successive term at the head of India's only Communist government.
Addressing a mammoth victory rally here, Karat said: "After running the government for five terms in a row, how the Left parties secured such huge votes? Many people across the country are asking this of us."
The CPI-M leader said the Left Front in Tripura is working for the 'aam admi' (common people), while the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government in New Delhi is "active to serve the interest of the corporate sectors, capitalist and millionaires".
"Like the previous Left Front governments, the current and future Left governments would continue to run a corruption-free, secular, ethnic-friendly and pro-people government. Tripura's Left leaders and workers have sacrificed themselves in the struggles against the princely periods, Congress rule besides terrorism," Karat said.
"The electoral victory in Tripura is historic, because the Left Front has been elected for the fifth straight term. This shows that policies and performance of Left Front government in Tripura has found extensive recognition among the masses," Karat added.
The Left victory in Tripura has already boosted the morale of the party men who are participating in the ongoing country-wide 'Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha (protest rally), he added.
The CPI-M has embarked on a rally which will traverse the length and breadth of the country to apprise the masses about the alleged anti-people policies of the UPA regime.
Addressing the rally, CPI-M's Assam unit secretary Uddhab Barman said that during the Congress rule in the state corruption has become universal.
"The PDS (public distribution system), health, education sectors have been collapsed. The Congress government in Assam is working for the few people's interest," he added.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar urged the people to guide the government to go on the right track.
"There will be no partition between government and people. The Left government would be run by the people themselves. We should correct our weakness. The weaknesses must not be recurred," he told the gathering.
Sarkar, also a CPI-M politburo member, asked the party leaders to listen more to the people, talk less and work more with sincerity, dedication and honesty.
Chief Minister since 1998, Sarkar, 64, led a coalition of the CPI-M and the CPI (Communist Party of India) to a huge electoral win in Tripura, the only state the Communists are in power after their electoral defeats in 2011 in their long-held bastions of West Bengal and Kerala.
It was the best result in term of vote-share of 52.30 percent for the Left since 1978 when the legendary Nripen Chakraborty-led CPI-M swept 56 seats. This time, Sarkar helped the Left Front increase its 2008 tally by one seat.