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Tripura: Protests, vandalism over nomination of candidates of BJP & Congress

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Agartala, Jan 29: The ruling BJP in Tripura was besieged with resignations, dissidence, protests, demonstrations against the official candidates of the party in Tripura. There were also reports of vandalisation of party offices and damage of campaign materials in different districts.

Similar incidents were also reported against the opposition Congress as well, with party workers unhappy with ticket allotment.

At least two BJP leaders Shyamal Bhakta Chowdhury from Kamalasagar constituency of Sepahijala district and Niharendu Debnath from Jubarajnagar in northern Tripura resigned from the party and are likely to contest the elections as independent candidates.

Accusing the state party chief Rajib Bhattacharjee, Chowdhury said he was assured of a party ticket for the February 16 Assembly polls.

The BJP has fielded West Tripura District Zilla Sabhadhipati Antara Deb Sarkar in Kamalasagar constituency triggering a serious reaction in the area among the leaders and workers.

In Northern Tripura’s Kanchanpur, BJP leaders and workers strongly protested against the allotment of the Kanchanpur seat to the BJP ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and they themselves chose Bimanjoy Reang as the party candidate.

Incumbent Kanchanpur IPFT MLA and Minister Prem Kumar Reang did nothing for the areas and he did not even visit many areas of the constituency during the past five years, the local BJP leaders told the media after a big gathering.

Protests, vandalism, demonstrations, damage to party flags and locking of BJP party offices was also reported from Bagbassa, Kurti, Kadamtala, Jubarajnagar, Chandipur in northern Tripura, and Jolaibari and Belonia in southern Tripura.

A BJP leader said that despite knowing a huge anti-incumbency wave against many ministers, the party has re-nominated over 15 candidates, which might help the opposition to garner electoral support against the ruling party candidates.

“Promising tribal leaders of BJP and those who would have much winning prospects were deprived of the party nomination, and unwanted people and those who joined the party recently from other parties were given tickets whose winnability is also minimal,” the BJP leader said, refusing to be named.

The opposition Congress has also faced protests and factional feuds in Boxanagar, Kamalpur and Dharmanagar constituencies over the selection of candidates.

A section of Congress workers have also threatened to quit the party unless the official candidates were changed.

After the announcement of the Congress candidates on Saturday, the party has also faced protests and open dissidence in South Tripura and Sepahijala districts.

A Congress leader said the Central leaders on the recommendations of the state leaders didn’t give party tickets to any Congress leaders to contest a single seat in South Tripura district and all seven seats of the district along with the most prospective seats of Sepahijala district have been given to CPI-M, causing uncertainty of vote transfer of Congress to the Left parties and making an extra advantage for the ruling BJP.

The five Left parties led by CPI-M announced the names of 47 candidates on January 25, leaving 13 seats to their new ally Congress.

Congress leaders, who have been demanding 23 to 27 seats from the Left parties, have been upset over the paltry allotment of seats by the CPI-M led Left Front.

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