Trinamul opts out of Tripura poll

Agartala, Jan. 18: The Trinamul Congress has decided not to contest in the upcoming Assembly election though the reason for not entering the fray has not been stated.

Though the move is expected to indirectly help the faction-ridden Congress, state Trinamul president Manik Deb said he was taking inputs from workers and supporters at the grassroots level about the issue to contest the polls.

"I have discussed the issue with the central leadership, including general secretary Mukul Roy but have not yet received any green signal to contest the poll," said Deb.

However, state party chairman Arun Chandra Bhowmik ruled out its participation in the election. "There is no question of our contesting the polls as it has been ruled out by our central leadership," he said. Bhowmik, however, resented the decision as "arbitrary".

"The central leaders could have come here and attended meetings or rallies to see our support base here. But nothing was done," said Bhowmik. He alleged that the central leadership was only thinking of the party's interests in West Bengal. "They seem to be worried that a poor performance in Tripura might affect Trinamul's prospects in the panchayat elections in Bengal."

The Election Commission has suspended four booth-level officers for their failure to correctly prepare electoral rolls. "One officer from Dhalai district and three from West Tripura have been suspended on the basis of an inquiry conducted in the wake of filing of specific complaints by Opposition parties," said Tripura's chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal.

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