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Tripura Elections: 24 New Faces in Left Front’s 46 Seats, Congress to field 13 Candidates

The Left, secular and democratic forces have appealed jointly for a unified battle against violence and anarchy and and end BJP rule.
Tripura Elections: 24 New Faces in Left Front’s 46 Seats, Congress to field 13 Candidates

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Kolkata: After a long discussion about seat sharing with the Congress for about 14 days, the Left Front on Wednesday announced candidates for 46 of the 60 Assembly seats in Tripura, while leaving 13 for the Congress. One seat has been left for Independent aspirant Puroshottyam Ray Barman, an advocate and human rights activist.

Of the total 46 seats, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) will contest 43, while other Left partners — the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Revolutionist Socialist Party (RSP) and the Forward Bloc — will field one candidate each,” Left Front convenor Narayan Kar said at a press meet.

Names of eight sitting CPI(M) legislators, including former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, deputy opposition leader Badal Choudhury, former ministers Bhanulal Saha, Sahid Chowdhury and Tapan Chakraborty, didn’t figure in the list, while 24 new faces have been inducted in the electoral fray. There are two women contestants on the Left Front’s list.

The list has 11 former MLAs who are seeking re-election. Two candidates who had contested earlier but were defeated will also contest the elections this time.

Kar said at the press meeting, “This election is very important for the entire country. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  government has destroyed the Constitutional ethos of the country. In Tripura, the Left, secular and democratic forces have appealed jointly for a unified battle against violence and anarchy. Congress too has responded to our call. This election will prove to be  the end of BJP democratically, and our aim is to ensure they  don’t come to power in the state.”

On why party veterans such as Manik Sarkar were dropped, another CPI(M) leader Jitendra Chaudhury said they voluntarily requested the party for the same.

Meanwhile, the Congress is yet to name its candidates. A senior leader of the party, who didn’t wish to be named, said they have heard about the Left Front’s list, but declined to comment if the Congress was satisfied with the 13 seats allotted to it.

CPI(M)’s State Secretary Jitendra Choudhury is contesting this election from the Sabroom assembly segment.

NewsClick spoke with Jitendra Choudhury who said that there is a definite anti-BJP wave in the state. “Wherever the party has been to organise itself in the face of the rigorous terror onslaught for all these years of the BJP rule, the prospect of the Left forces in the election is sanguine,” he said.

NewsClick also spoke with Bhanulal Saha, former Finance Minister of the state during the Left Front Government’s time and an MLA of the last assembly of Tripura. He elaborated upon the condition of the state in the present times. The election result will depend on the election commission's assurances whether all voters can cast their votes with safety and secrecy in an assured way. The Election commission has proposed to deploy 400 companies of paramilitary forces in Tripura. It is to be seen whether the paramilitary forces go on area domination in the hinterland area from where the voters come to cast their votes in the election. 

Saha added, "In earlier times it has been seen that the BJP-led hooligans have disturbed the voters in their own areas and had prevented people from coming to the election venue to cast their vote. If people can vote in the election then the anti-incumbency wave to a huge extent has hit the state."  

“They had promised 200 days of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)  work, 50,000 jobs in the first year,  income to every home of the area, and many more promises which proved to be futile promises. People are aghast against these jumlas (false promises). If the Election Commission can make the condition of the state terror-free, then many are saying that BJP will not even reach the double digits.”

He claimed that Trinamool Congress (TMC) has come into the picture now to “help the BJP and so has the TIPRA Motha (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance)”, who at first had sought seat adjustment with BJP but now according to its plan- B is trying to field candidates in as many seats to “divide the tribal vote” which is generally against BJP.

“The ordinary people, including the working class, like rickshaw pullers and auto drivers, are against this government. If the Election Commission's slogan of "My Choice My Vote" works fairly, then BJP will face a huge loss in its base also,” Saha added.

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