Tripura gets maximum women legislators
By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, Mar 1 : With five of the 15 women contestants winning, the Tripura assembly now has the highest number of women legislators since the state was carved out in 1972.
All five, including Social Welfare Minister Bijita Nath and former minister Bijoy Laxmi Sinha, belong to the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
In the outgoing assembly, there were three women -- Bijita Nath, Gauri Das and Rita Kar Majumder. All of them have been re-elected.
Among the five is 52-year-old Tunubala Malakar.
"There should be more women members in our legislature. All political parties should put up more women candidates," writer and social activist Fulan Bhattacharjee told IANS.
"Women form the strong base for the Left. More women voted in Tripura," she said.
In 2008, 31 women contested.
According to Chief Electoral Officer Ashutosh Jindal, the final electoral rolls of Tripura published Jan 12 showed a record increase in the gender ratio in the state to 964 females to 1,000 males.
"Though I have no exact data, the sex ratio in the voters' list is much higher than the national average and in many states," Jindal told IANS.
"In both 2008 and Feb 14, there were more women voters than men," he said.
Of the 60 members elected, nine are new faces. Eight of them belong to the CPI-M and one to the Congress.
Teacher-turned-politician and Information Minister Anil Sarkar, 75, who is also a poet and writer, was voted on CPI-M ticket from Pratapgarh in western Tripura for a record ninth time.
Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury, who posted the highest winning margin of 12,429 votes, was re-elected for the seventh time from Hrishyamukh in southern Tripura.
For Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, 64, who has been chief minister for 15 long years, it was the sixth electoral win. He retained Dhanpur seat in west Tripura.
The CPI-M alone bagged 49 seats while the Communist Party of India won one seat.
The RSP and Forward Bloc lost the two and one seats they contested. The RSP had two members in the outgoing house.
The Congress won only 10 seats.
It was the best result for the Left since 1978 when it won 56 seats.