After discussing seat-sharing with the Congress for about a week, the Left Front on Wednesday announced candidates for 46 of the 60 Assembly seats in Tripura, while leaving 13 for the grand old party. One seat has been left for Independent aspirant Puroshottyam Ray Barman, an advocate and human rights activist.
Of the total 46 seats, the CPI(M) will contest 43, while other Left partners — CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc — will field one candidate each, Left Front convenor Narayan Kar said at a press meet.
Names of eight sitting CPIM legislators, including former chief minister Manik Sarkar (74), deputy opposition leader Badal Choudhury, former ministers Bhanulal Saha, Sahid Chowdhury and Tapan Chakraborty, didn’t figure in the list, while 24 new faces will be there in the electoral fray. There are only two women contestants on the Left Front list.
The list has 11 former MLAs and two candidates who had contested earlier but were defeated.
Kar said, “This election is very important for the country. BJP-led government has destroyed Constitutional institutions of the country. In Tripura, the Left, secular and democratic forces appealed for a unified battle against violence and anarchy. Congress responded to our call. This election will be the end of BJP democratically, and to make sure they don’t return to power ever in the state.”
On why party veterans such as Manik Sarkar were dropped, another CPIM 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 list, but declined to comment if the Congress was satisfied with the 13 seats allotted to it. “The issue is being discussed at our Central Election Committee (CEC) at New Delhi. We shall comment after they take a call,” he said.