Top BJP, Cong, CPI-M leaders file papers for Feb 16 assembly polls

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Agartala, Jan 30, 2023, IANS

Top BJP, Congress, CPI-M leaders including Tripura Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, state Congress President submitted their nomination papers on Monday, the last day of filling candidatures.

Chief Minister Manik Saha, who was elected to the state assembly in the June 2022 by-elections after former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb was removed from the top post in May last year, submitted his nomination paper in the Bordowali constituency here.

Manik Saha would take on Congress candidate Ashish Kumar Saha, who was elected to the assembly as BJP nominee in 2018 assembly elections. Ashish Kumar Saha quit BJP in January last year and joined Congress next month. In the June 2022 by-elections, Manik Saha for the first time was elected to the assembly defeating Congress candidate Ashish Kumar Saha.

Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik, who in 2018 assembly polls unsuccessfully contested against former Chief Minister and CPI-M leader Manik Sarkar, submitted her nomination paper in the same Dhanpur constituency.

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

Senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma submitted his nomination paper for the Charilam seat in Sepahijala district. BJP-turned Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman, who was elected to the assembly from the Agartala constituency for the sixth time in a row in the June 2022 by-elections, submitted his nomination paper in the same constituency.

State Congress President Birajit Sinha, who was a minister in the Congress-led Tripura government (1988-1993), submitted his nomination paper in the Kailasahar constituency, from where he was elected to the assembly five times since 1988.

Former Tripura Congress President Gopal Roy submitted his nomination in the Banamalipur constituency.

The opposition Congress would contest the February 16 elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly in alliance with the CPI-M-led Left parties.

The five party Left Front allotted 13 seats to the Congress, against their demands of 23 seats. Most leaders of the Congress were upset over the paltry allotment of seats by the Left parties.

On the last day of filling of the nominations, both the CPI-M and the Congress violating their seat-sharing deal submitted candidatures in many seats.

Left Front convener Narayan Kar said that before the last day of withdrawal nominations on February 2, the seat-sharing deal between the Left parties and the Congress would be cleared without any doubt.

The candidates of tribal-based Tipra Motha Party and the Trinamool Congress also submitted their nominations in many seats.

The election officials would scrutinize the nomination papers and relevant documents on Tuesday. The last date of withdrawal of the candidatures is February 2.

Votes will be counted on March 2.