Candidate list sets cat among pigeons in Tripura Congress

Agartala, Jan 13 (IANS) Hours after the AICC announced the names of Congress candidates for the Feb 14 assembly elections in Tripura, local leaders and workers in as many as 11 places in the state openly revolted, demanding change in nominations.

In some places, the Congress workers even burnt down or damaged party offices in protest.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Oscar Fernandes in New Delhi Saturday night declared the nomination of 48 Congress candidates for the state's 60-member assembly, keeping one pending and allocating eleven seats to its long-time political ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a party with a tribal base.

"We, the block Congress leaders of Charilam (in western Tripura), would resign en masse from our respective posts if royal scion 'Maharaj' Pradyot Bikram Kishore Debbarma is not given the party ticket, replacing Himani Debbarma," Charilam block Congress president Amal Debnath told reporters.

Over one thousand party workers, led by local leaders from Charilam, Sunday met state Congress president Sudip Roy Barman here and communicated their decision to Barman and the AICC.

Agitated Congress workers burnt down the party office at Boxanagar demanding change of the official candidate Billal Mian, a former minister, and nomination of Tofajjal Hossain, a senior party leader.

Reports of the violent protests by party men and internal feuds over selection of Congress candidates have been received from Chandipur in northern Tripura, Charilam, Kamalasagar, Pratapgarh, Khowai, Teliamura, Golaghati, Takarjala in western Tripura and Hrishamukh and Amarpur assembly segments in southern Tripura.

The state's main opposition Congress seemed to be in disarray over the selection of party nominees for the polls.

A large number of Congress workers last week laid siege to Congress Bhavan, the party's headquarters in the state capital Agartala, to press for the nomination of Jawahar Saha, Ratan Chakraborty, Biva Nath and Billal Mia -- all former Congress ministers.

They also demanded nomination of former legislators and senior Congress leaders, such as Kajal Das, Dilip Muhuri, Bikash Das and Jahir Ali.

In view of the demands of party workers, the AICC nominated Ratan Chakraborty, Billal Mian and Kajal Das for next month's polls in Left-ruled Tripura.

"In many places, Congress workers have locked party offices to protest against the selection of party candidates for the ensuing polls," senior Congress leader Tapas Dey said.

"It would has been wise (of the party leadership) if the people who have lost polls in the state more than two times did not get party tickets," Dey said.

Of the 48 Congress candidates, four are women and nine are tribals.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has also announced candidates for 26 seats, has urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to defer the Feb 14 assembly polls in Tripura in view of Saraswati Puja Feb 15, a popular puja among Hindu students.

State BJP president Sudhindra Dasgupta in a fax message to the ECI said: "Lakhs of students would be upset if they do not perform the traditional Saraswati Puja. Hence, the polls must be deferred by a few days."

Tripura, the country's lone Left-ruled state, is set for polling Feb 14.

Two other northeastern states, Meghalaya and Nagaland, will have polling Feb 23.

Results of all three states' assembly polls will be announced Feb 28, Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said in New Delhi Friday.

The assemblies in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have 60 seats each. The five-year terms of these assemblies expire March 10, March 16 and March 26, respectively.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »