Cong aspirants at each other's throats

Agartala, Jan. 17: The Tripura Congress's open feud over nominations for Assembly election has reached police.

Former party legislator and PCC spokesman Tapas De filed a complaint with the director-general of police (DGP), S.K. Sinha, against a quintet of "history-sheeters" for threatening to kill him and Pradyot Bikram Kishore unless the royal scion withdrew from the race for nomination from Charilam constituency.

In a formal complaint to the DGP, De said five men had stormed into his residence in the Krishan Nagar area today and accused him of orchestrating a weeklong protest by Congress supporters from Charilam against the nomination of councillor Himani Debbarma from there.

"They clearly threatened to kill me and Pradyot Bikram Kishore unless we desisted from trying for his nomination from Charilam in place of Himani. They said they would face no problem in liquidating both of us any time," De told the DGP in his complaint.

He asked for security cover for himself and Bikram Kishore immediately. "The DGP spoke to me over phone and told me that he had instructed the superintendent of police (west) to initiate action," De said.

No response to the "threat" was available from senior Congress leaders as they are camping in Delhi to hold discussions with the party high command over the nomination issue.

De said Himani's husband Gautam Debbarma had spent a lot of money to "buy" nomination for his wife from Charilam.

The constituency has been nursed carefully by Bikram Kishore for the past five years.

Shortly after Himani's name was announced early this month, supporters of Bikram Kishore, including all members of the Congress's organisational committees, erupted in protest and laid siege to Congress Bhawan here for two days. Khayerpur Assembly constituency block Youth Congress committee president Gopinath Das was seriously injured this morning after being allegedly attacked by supporters of another aspirant, Baptu Chakraborty. Das's supporters retaliated by ransacking six Congress offices in the constituency.

In Kanchanpur, Congress leader Sanjit Reang has decided to gherao the party office in a day or two in protest against the nomination of Sevika Reang from the seat this time. Shortly after announcement of Sevika's name, Sanjit allegedly rushed to her house and threatened her. Sevika subsequently fled Kanchanpur and is now in the capital.

In Amarpur, supporters of former minister and veteran leader Jawhar Saha, who has been denied nomination from the constituency, have decided to put him up as an Independent candidate.

The Congress high command has summoned all senior party leaders to Delhi for revising the nomination list.

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