Manik Sarkar quits as Tripura CM

Agartala: Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Sunday tendered his resignation to Governor Tathagata Roy, who asked him to continue in office till the next Chief Minister takes over, officials said.

“I have submitted my resignation to governor and he asked me to continue in office until the new Chief Minister took over the charge.

“I thank all the officials and security personnel who helped to conduct the elections peacefully,” Sarkar told the media at the Raj Bhavan after submitting his formal resignation letter.

Sarkar, 69, put in his papers a day after the ruling Left Front dominated by his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) suffered a humiliating defeat in the February 18 assembly elections by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance.

The BJP-IPFT coalition has swept the polls, the results of which were declared on Saturday, winning 43 of the 59 seats for which elections were held. The BJP secured 35 seats in the 60-member assembly while its ally IPFT, a tribal based party, has won eight seats.

Elections were held for 59 seats and countermanded in one (tribal reserve Charilam seat) following the death of a CPI-M candidate a week before the February 18 polls.

Chief Minister of Tripura for the past 20 years, Sarkar, who has been in the election fray for the past 37 years (since 1981), has been elected to the state assembly seven times — in 1981 (by-polls), 1983, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018.

In the February 18 polls, the CPI-M politburo member retained his Dhanpur (in western Tripura under Sepahijala district) assembly constituency for the fifth consecutive time.

The Left leader won the Dhanpur seat by a margin of 5,441 votes defeating BJP general secretary and woman leader Pratima Bhowmik in a multi-cornered contest.