Congress to field Sonia, Manmohan for Tripura polls

Written by Swaraj Thapa | New Delhi, Jan 27 | Updated: Jan 28 2008, 06:18am hrs
Signalling its earnestness to take on the Left Front in Tripura, the Congress has decided to field Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi for campaigning in the ensuing Assembly polls in the state next month.

However, its intent to pose a threat to the Left in Tripura may be dampened by the fact that the party has neither been able to conclude alliance talks with its pre-poll partner, the INPT nor finalise its list of candidates for the 60 assembly seats, even when polling day is just a month away. The Congress Election Committee (CEC) headed by Sonia Gandhi, met on Sunday to give its approval to the list of nominees.

Tripura Congress leaders, who have been camping in the capital for the last few days, on Sunday, admitted that the inability to identify candidates even at this stage, when polls are due on February 23, would impact campaigning. All candidates should have been in their respective constituencies electioneering at this time. But we are all here in Delhi, a senior TPCC leader contended.

The central leadership is also yet to put an end to the tieup talks with the Indigenous National party of Tripura(INPT), its alliance partner since the last elections. Party leaders here however claimed that talks were more or less over. As per the understanding for the 20 tribal seats in the state, it was contended that the INPT was being given about a dozen seats. We wanted 10 seats, but it looks like we will have to settle for eight. Of the 12 remaining seats, two might be taken by another faction of the INPT, party leaders said.