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Tripura polls: BJP announces 1st list of candidates, 6 MLAs dropped

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Agartala, Jan 28: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced its first list of 48 candidates, dropping six sitting MLAs and fielded 11 women candidates.

A BJP leader said that they are now holding talks with their junior ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), who has also been on parlays with the influential opposition tribal based party Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance’s (TIPRA) led by former royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman.

Chief Minister Manik Saha

According to the first list, Chief Minister Manik Saha, who was elected to the state assembly in a bye-election in June last year after former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb was removed from the top post in May last year, would contest from the Bordowali seat.

Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik

Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik, who in 2018 assembly polls unsuccessfully contested against former Chief Minister and CPI-M leader Manik Sarkar, would seek election from the same Dhanpur constituency.

Tripura state BJP President Rajib Bhattacharjee would contest election for the first time from Banamalipur seat, from where former Chief Minister and incumbent Rajya Sabha member Biplab Kumar Deb was elected in 2018 assembly polls.

CPI-M sitting MLA Moboshar Ali, who on Friday joined BJP in New Delhi, would contest from his old constituency Kailasahar in northern Tripura, from where he was elected to the state assembly for the first time on the Left party’s ticket in 2018 polls.

The BJP did not give tickets to six sitting MLAs – Arun Chandra Bhowmik (Belonia), Biplab Ghosh (Matabari), Subhash Das (Nalchar), Mimi Majumder (Badharghat), Birendra Kishore Debbarma (Golaghati) and Parimal Debbarma (Ambasa).

Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma

All the nine BJP ministers including Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma got the party tickets from their respective constituencies.

However, the name of the candidate in Minister Ram Prasad Paul’s constituency in Suryamaninagar was not announced in the first list.

Around 15 new faces find places in the first list of BJP candidates.

State BJP President Rajib Bhattacharjee said that the second list of 12 names would be announced soon.

The BJP’s Central Election Committee in its meeting at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi on Friday finalised candidates for the February 16 Tripura Assembly elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the meeting, which was chaired by party President J.P. Nadda.

Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik, CEC member Om Mathur, former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Union Ministers Bhupendra Yadav, Satyanarayan Jatiya, and Sarbananda Sonowal, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, and Tripura election incharge Dr. Mahesh Sharma also participated in the meeting.

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