The joint panel of Congress and CPI(M) swept the Tripura Bar Association elections, with 12 out of 15 posts including the post of president, vice-president, secretary and two assistant secretaries. While, the candidates backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is also the ruling party in the state, witnessed a humiliating defeat in the elections which were held on Sunday, February 23.
The joint panel under the banner ‘Save Constitution’, was formed by parties who were hitherto arch rivals—Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist)—and was constituted prior to the elections with the aim of arresting BJP’s increasing footprints in the state. The right-wing party had registered a massive victory in the Tripura Bar Association elections last year.
According to a report in NE Now News, Sandip Datta Choudhury, the returning officer of the polls and senior advocate said, altogether three booths were set up in the bar association office for the polls.
“Altogether 389 voters have exercised their franchise to elect the working committee of the bar which will remain valid till 2021,” the report further quoted him as saying.
State Congress president and veteran lawyer Pijush Biswas was reported as saying that the BJP was responsible for its debacle in the bar elections. He also alleged that the outcome of the polls was the outburst of the resentment brewing among the entire lawyer fraternity.
The NE Now News report said, “Entire lawyer fraternity has resented the policies of the ruling BJP. Merit has been undermined in the way, public prosecutors, assistant public prosecutors and government advocates have been empanelled under this regime. This has led to serious resentment among the practicing lawyers of the State and a befitting answer is given in this polls.”
Reacting to the election results, CPI(M) leader and lawyer Haribol Debnath was quoted as saying, “Earlier BJP ruled the bar association but failed to work for benefit of the lawyers and it is reflected in the election.”
Talking about the Congress-CPI(M) panel in the run-up to the elections, advocate general Arun Kanti Bhowmik from BJP had said, "These two parties have reached such a stage of bankruptcy in the ideological convictions and policies that they have clandestinely reached an understanding only for winning elections of the Tripura Bar Association; but the lawyers will reject the opportunistic and unholy alliance and BJP panel will retain their seats and power.”
The total numbers of votes polled were 408, out of which 15 were rejected. Polling began at around 9:15 AM on Sunday, after a delay of 15 minutes. The results were announced on the same day.