Congress announces 17 candidates for Tripura Assembly polls

Agartala, Jan 28 (IANS): The opposition Congress, which would contest the February 16 elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly in alliance with the CPI-M-led Left parties, announced 17 candidates' names on Saturday.

The five Left parties led by CPI-M announced the names of 47 candidates on Wednesday, leaving 13 seats to their new ally Congress while dropping eight sitting MLAs.

Congress leaders, who were upset over the paltry allotment of seats by the Left parties, refused to make any comments about the candidates' list.

Congress leader and the party's lone MLA in Trpura, Sudip Roy Barman, had said that they had first demanded 27 seats, and then 23 seats from the Left parties.

"They (Left parties) have taken the decision as per their whims and fancies, but we would go as per the wishes of the people," Roy Barman told IANS.

According to the Congress candidates' list, announced by the party's General Secretary in-charge of Central Election Committee, Mukul Wasnik, Roy Barman would seek re-election from the Agartala constituency while state party President Birajit Sinha would contest from Kailasahar, from where he was earlier elected to the state Assembly.

Former Tripura Congress President Gopal Roy would contest from Banamalipur, while ex-MLA Ashish Kumar Saha has been fielded for the Bordowali seat.

Tripura Chief Minister and BJP nominee Manik Saha and state BJP chief Rajib Bhattacharjee will also contest from Bordowali and Banamalipur seats, respectively.

Interestingly, three parties -- BJP, Congress and Forward Bloc -- have nominated their candidates for the Badharghat constituency, traditionally a Congress bastion, from the same family.

While BJP nominated Mina Rani Sarkar, her elder brother Raj Kumar Sarkar has been fielded by the Congress, while Forward Bloc has nominated their nephew Partha Ranjan Sarkar, a lawyer.

The trio joined different parties after the death of Congress MLA and former minister Dilip Sarkar, who passed away three years ago.

Despite the seat adjustments between the Left parties and the Congress, both sides nominated candidates in the SC reserve seat.



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Title: Congress announces 17 candidates for Tripura Assembly polls

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