The BJP today released its first list of 44 candidates for Assembly elections in Tripura where the party looks to oust the Left Front government which has been in power for the last 25 years. The strength of the state assembly is 60 members. While releasing the list, senior BJP leader J P Nadda said the Central Election Committee headed by party chief Amit Shah finalised the list of 44 candidates. The party is going to contest on 51 seats and nine have been kept for its alliance partner, IPFT. The BJP refrained from announcing a chief ministerial candidate for the state elections. The list includes the name of BJP’s state general secretary Pratima Bhowmik who will be contesting from Dhanpur, the constituency of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
The party has decided to field its state president Biplab Kumar Deb from Banamalipur. “We have considered all sections and walks of society while choosing our candidates. While there are are 10 seats reserved for SC candidates, we are going to field 11 SC candidates. One is contesting from a regular seat”, he said. Nadda was speaking after the meeting of the Central Election Committee which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all its members. The list also includes seven sitting MLAs, four women, 10 professionals like doctors and engineers, and two candidates from the field of arts. The BJP did not win any seat in the last state assembly polls but emerged as the main challenger to the ruling CPI(M). Several leaders from parties such as the Congress and the TMC joined its ranks in the last couple of years. Tripura will go to the polls on 18 February and vote-counting will be held on March 3 along with Nagaland and Meghalaya.