Tripura goes to poll on February 18 and the results will be out on March 3, along with that of Meghalaya and Nagaland. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will contest the poll from his home turf - Dhanpur assembly constituency.
Twelve new faces and all the sitting ministers figured in the ruling Left Front’s list of 60 candidates for the upcoming Tripura assembly polls. The northeastern state goes to poll on February 18 and the results will be out on March 3, along with that of Meghalaya and Nagaland. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will contest the poll from his home turf – Dhanpur assembly constituency, the newly-appointed convener of the Left Front, Bijan Dhar, told reporters while declaring the list of candidates today. Twelve “old and ailing” legislators have been denied tickets, Dhar said. Among the 12 new entrants is Jharna Das Baidya, currently a Rajya Sabha member for second consecutive term. Her term would end next year.
The RSP, the CPI and the Forward Bloc, three key constituents of the ruling alliance, were allotted one seat each, down from two in the previous election. Dhar said it was decided in the meeting of Left Front committee that “winning potential” would be the criteria for candidates selection. Altogether, the Left Front, fielded seven women this time, two more than the last time, Dhar, who is also the secretary of the state unit of CPI(M), said. “Not a single minister has been dropped from the list. They (all 12) would contest the election from their current constituencies,” he said. The CPI has re-nominated jail minister Manindra Reang from Santir Bazar (ST) seat in south Tripura, while the RSP has decided to field new candidate Srikanta Datta from Radhakishorepur constituency. Prominent among the new faces are Forward Bloc’s Biswanath Saha, the Mayor in Council of Agartala Municipal Corporation, and Amal Chakraborty (CPI-M), the president of the state unit of DYFI. The Left Front government, which is in power in Tripura for the past 25 years, is facing a challenge from a resurgent BJP.
The Left Front government headed by the CPI(M) is in government in Tripura since 1993. While Dasrath Deb was the Chief Minister from the Left Front during initial five years term, incumbent Manik Sarkar has been on the chair for the past 20 years. With Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh already in the NDA fold, the saffron party is making a concerted efforts to expand in other northeastern states in the coming assembly elections. The BJP, which has sealed a pre-poll alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a powerful anti-Left tribal party, is yet to declare its candidates. But, Dhar dismissed the challenge. “The Left Front would win the elections with a thumping majority, giving a befitting reply to the BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance in the election,” Dhar added.