New Delhi, January 28
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, his deputy Jishnu Dev Varma, Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik and state BJP chief Rajib Bhattacharjee featured on the first list of 48 candidates released by the BJP on Saturday for the February 16 Tripura Assembly elections.
The party later today unveiled the second list of six candidates declaring in all 54 contestants for the 60 member assembly.
The second list featured state minister Ram Prasad Paul’s name.
Ex-Chief Minister Biplab Deb, now a Rajya Sabha member, has not been fielded.
CM Saha will defend his seat Town Bordowali, while Varma has been fielded from the Charilam (reserved) segment.
Bhoumik, who represents the Tripura West segment in the Lok Sabha, will contest from Dhanpur and Bhattacharjee from Banmalipur, the seat Deb had won in 2018 with the third highest vote share when he became CM.
Out of 54 names declared today, the BJP has denied tickets to six sitting legislators.
These are Badharghat’s Mimi Majumder, Golghati’s Birendra Kishore Debberma, Nalchar’s Subhash Chandra Das, Matabari’s Biplab Ghosh, Belonia’s Arun Chander Bhoumik and Ambassa’s Parimal Devbarma.
Tripura’s Minister of Home Ram Prasad Paul’s ticket was not in the first list declared earlier today leading to speculation about his future.
Paul was involved in a ruckus that marked the replacement of former CM Deb with Manik Saha in May 2022 in the presence of central BJP observers, including Union Minister Bhupender Yadav. Paul wanted Deputy CM Varma, member of the erstwhile Tripura royalty, to be elevated but Saha, then MP, was eventually named CM.
Sambit Patra, BJP coordinator for northeast, today said the party would win a majority in Tripura riding on PM Narendra Modi-led development wave signalled by 53 per cent rural houses getting potable water as against 3 per cent before 2014, 3.5 lakh people getting benefits under a PM housing scheme, and central assistance to the state rising from Rs 3,500 crore before 2014 to Rs 14,000 crore now.
The BJP had won 35 of the state’s 60 seats in 2018. Its ally, the Indigenous People’s Front of India (IPFT), had bagged eight, the CPM 16 and the Congress one.
The BJP and the IPFT had ended a 25-year CPM rule in Tripura in 2018.
Patra said the remaining 12 seats would be announced soon.
The BJP is set to go it alone in Tripura this time but will find the run in the state’s 20 reserved ST seats difficult.
In 2018, the IPFT had won eight of these 20 seats, and the BJP 10.
This time, the presence of a new force — the TIPRA Motha led by erstwhile Tripura royal Pradyot Debbarma will also present a challenge for the BJP.
Of the 48 candidates the BJP named today, 11 (23 per cent) are women.
The voter turnout for the Tripura Assembly election was 91 per cent in 2018 as against 94 per cent in 2013.
Ex-CM not fielded
* 11 women on first list
* Of the 54 nominees, 11 are women
* CM Manik Saha, his deputy on the list
* Ex-Chief Minister Biplab Deb not fielded
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