Tripura assembly elections: CM, Dy CM, Union MoS in fray

Ruling BJP announces a strong list of 54 candidates for the upcoming Tripura assembly elections

NEW DELHI | Updated: 29 January, 2023 9:59 am IST
Minister of State of Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhowmik started her campaigning for the upcoming assembly elections in Tripura

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced a strong list of 54 candidates for the upcoming polls for the 60-member Tripura assembly on January 28.

The BJP, which is going solo in the polls, first announced a list of 48 candidates earlier in the day. The list included Tripura Chief minister Manik Saha, his deputy Jishnu Dev Varma, Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik and state BJP chief Rajib Bhattacharjee. Moboshar Ali, a CPI(M) MLA who had recently switched allegiance to the BJP, was also on the list.

Later in the day, the BJP added six more names to the list, which included state minister Ram Prasad Paul. Paul came into the limelight after he created a ruckus when the party decided to replace then-CM Biplab Deb with Saha in May 2022. The incident occurred in the presence of a party observer and Union minister Bhupender Yadav.

Paul is a long-time member of the party as well as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It was in 2018 that Paul, 54, became a legislator. He won from the Suryamaninagar Assembly constituency. Paul will run for re-election in the same constituency in the February 16 assembly election.

Meanwhile, CM Saha will contest from Town Bordowali, while Union minister Pratima Bhoumik, who is speculated to become the CM if the BJP comes to power, will contest from Dhanpur.

State BJP chief Bhattacharjee will contest from Banamalipur, while Deputy CM Dev Varma will contest from Charilam ST reserved seat.

Announcing the list, BJP coordinator for the North East, Sambit Patra, said, “Riding on PM Narendra Modi’s development wave, the party will win a majority in Tripura.”

Highlighting the work done under the BJP government, Patra said, “53 per cent of rural houses are now getting potable water as compared to 3 per cent before 2014. 3.5 lakh people are getting benefits under the PM housing scheme. Central assistance to the state rose from ₹3,500 crores before 2014 to ₹14,000 crore now.”

Meanwhile, BJP had also fielded 11 women candidates in the fray. Apart from formidable Bhowmik, the list included Mina Rani Sarkar (from Badharghat), Antara Deb Sarkar (Kamalasagar), Himani Debbarma (Golaghati), Kalyani Roy (Teliamura), Swapna Majumder (Rajnagar), Patal Kanya Jamatya (Ampi), Swapna Das (Surma), Suchitra Debbarma (Ambassa), Malina Debnath (Jubaraj Nagar) and Santana Chakma (Pecharthal).

The party is also fielding two Muslim candidates in the elections. The candidates included Moboshar Ali from Kailashahar and Taffajal Hossain from Boxanagar.

While the BJP had announced 17 names for the tribal-dominated seats, it will soon finalise names for the remaining three seats.

In 2018, the BJP broke the rule of the CPI (M) in the state and it is on a strong pitch to retain the northeastern state.

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