AGARTALA, May 16 (IANS): CPI-M candidates Friday won the two Lok Sabha seats in the Left-ruled Tripura, defeating the Congress candidates by a record margin of votes, official said here.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate and state's forest and rural development minister Jitendra Choudhury defeated Sachitra Debbarma of the Congress in the tribal reserve East Tripura seat by a record margin of 4,60,548 votes. The CPI-M candidate secured 5,94,006 votes.
In Tripura West, the CPI-M nominee and trade union leader Sankar Prasad Datta won by 5,03,486 votes against Congress candidate Arunoday Saha, a former vice chancellor of Tripura University, a central varsity. Datta bagged 6,71,665 votes.
Both the CPI-M candidates, who have contested the Lok Sabha polls for the first time, have increased the victory margin over their party predecessors.
In all 25 candidates, including three women, contested for the two seats in Tripura.
With this victory, since 1952, the Left parties have won the Tripura East seat 11 times while the Congress secured the seat five times. The Left has won the West Tripura seat 12 times since the first Lok Sabha elections (1952) and the Congress four times. The Congress For Democracy, a breakaway faction of the Congress, secured the seat in 1977.
The CPI-M, the dominant partner of the Left Front, has been winning both the seats uninterruptedly since 1996.
A record 85 percent of the 2.38 million electorates voted in the two-phase polls for two seats in the state - April 7 and 12.