Multi-cornered fight in two constituencies (Poll Curtainraiser - Tripura)April 22nd, 2009 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS
Agartala, April 22 (IANS) Tripura is all set to witness a multi-cornered electoral battle Thursday with 19 candidates, including a woman, from various political parties in the fray for the two parliamentary seats from the northeastern state.
Despite a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress has also fielded candidates for the two seats from Tripura.
“Congress leaders in Tripura ignored our party and that’s why with the approval of our party chief Mamata Banerjee we have fielded candidates in the two parliamentary constituencies,” said Dulal Das, the Trinamool Congress state president.
“Due to the Congress’ attitude, the non-Left votes would divide and the ruling Left Front candidates will get the benefit in the polls,” Das told journalists.
State Trinamool Congress chairman and senior lawyer Arun Chandra Bhowmik is contesting from the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency while party vice-president Rita Rani Debbarma has been fielded for the Tripura East seat (reserved for the Scheduled Tribes).
The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have re-nominated their respective 2004 Lok Sabha candidates for the two seats.
Sitting MPs Khagen Das and Bajuban Reang, both CPI-M central committee members who won in 2004, will again contest from West Tripura and East Tripura respectively.
Tripura BJP president Nilmani Deb will contest from West Tripura while the party’s veteran tribal leader, Pulin Behari Dewan, will be the candidate in East Tripura.
The BJP has struck an alliance with a tribal-based party, Nationalist Council of Tripura (NCT).
The NCT had partnered with the Congress in last year’s assembly polls.
Another tribal-based party, Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), and the Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS), a local party formed by breakaway leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), have announced their support to the Congress.
Sportsman-turned-politician Bajuban Reang has been elected to the lower house of parliament from Tripura East as many as six times since 1980 while his party colleague Khagen Das won the Tripura West seat in the 2002 byelection and the 2004 polls.
Reang is the second tribal leader in the northeastern region after former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma who was elected to the Lok Sabha so many times.
Sangma won the Tura Lok Sabha seat from Meghalaya as many as eight times.
Over 2.08 million voters, including 1.01 million women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in Thursday’s polls, which will be held amid tight security.
Patrolling was further intensified along Tripura’s 856-km-long border with Bangladesh by the Border Security Force (BSF) while central paramilitary troopers and state security forces fanned out to sensitive and terrorist-prone areas to keep a close eye on the situation.
“Over 80 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to conduct the elections in a free and fair manner,” said Tripura chief electoral officer Sanjeev Ranjan.
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- Tripura will play crucial role in forming Third Front: CPI-M - Mar 30, 2009
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Tags: agartala, bharatiya janata party, central committee members, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, congress leaders, democratic socialism, electoral battle, inpt, Lok Sabha, mamata banerjee, nationalist party, northeastern state, parliamentary constituencies, parliamentary seats, ruling communist party, sabha constituency, trinamool congress, west bengal, west tripura