Left Front names candidates for Tripura polls

Agartala, Jan 9 (IANS) The Left Front Wednesday announced the names of party candidates in 59 of the 60 constituencies for the assembly elections in Tripura, which will go to polls next month along with two other northeastern states -- Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Of the 59 Left Front candidates, 12 will be new faces. The party has also named five women candidates this time.

"This time, we have dropped seven MLAs, including three former ministers, on health grounds and other reasons," Khagen Das, convenor of the Tripura Left Front, told reporters here late Wednesday.

"Left Front will come to power for the seventh time as the government has done excellent developmental work and launched various schemes for the well being of the people in the state," Das added.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the leading member of the Left Front in Tripura, will field 55 candidates, while the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party have nominated two contenders each. The Forward Bloc will have only one candidate.

CPI candidate for the Banamalipur assembly seat in Agartala will be declared later.

Among the 59 Left Front nominees, Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Anil Sarkar will contest the assembly polls for a record ninth time.

Among other prominent Left Front candidates seeking re-election are CPI-M politburo member and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar (from Dhanpur constituency), state Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury (Hrishamukh), Transport Minister Manik Dey (Majlispur) and Aghore Debbarma (Asharambari).

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

"It would be wise (for the party leadership) if the people who have lost polls in the state more than two times do not get party tickets," Dey added.

The Election Commission is expected to announce the dates for assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland by next week.

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