Agartala, June 15 (IANS): Eight months ahead of the crucial Assembly polls in the State, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) today retained the Nalchar seat by increasing its victory margin from the previous polls.
"CPI-M candidate Tapan Chandra Das, who secured 18,001 votes, defeated Congress nominee Dwijendralal Majumder, who got 13,224 votes, by a margin of 4,777 votes," returning officer Sankar Chakraborty told IANS on phone.
The CPI-M's victory margin was 2,532 votes in the previous February 2008 assembly polls.
Though four candidates from parties including CPI-M, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have contested the June 12 by-election in the Nalchar assembly seat (reserved for the scheduled caste people), the main contest was between the CPI-M's Tapan Chandra Das and the Congress' Dwijendralal Majumder.
With Friday's win, the Nalchar assembly constituency has won seven times by the CPI-M and two times by the Congress since Tripura became a full-fledged state in February 1972.
According to the returning officer, BJP candidate Parimal Burman managed 463 votes.
The by-election Tuesday was necessitated following the death of ruling CPI-M legislator Sukumar Barman March 10.
CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das reacting to the victory said: "The bypoll outcome has come as a slap for the misinformation campaign by a section of the media and Congress leaders."
He said: "The voters of Nalchar have responded positively towards the development, success and pro-people policies of the Left Front government. The people have given a befitting reply to the anti-development and anti-people parties like Congress and their supporters."
Political observers feel that the bypoll result, comes eight months ahead of the elections to the 60-seat assembly in the lone Left-ruled state Tripura, and is politically significant for both the ruling Left parties and the main opposition Congress.
Elections to the Tripura state assembly are scheduled in February 2013.
Top CPI-M leaders, including Chief Minister and CPI-M politburo member Manik Sarkar, and senior AICC general secretary Luizinho Faleiro, Tripura Congress president Sudip Roy Barman and Leader of Opposition Ratan Lal Nath had campaigned in the bypoll to win the vital elections.