Tripura: Political parties gear up by-poll preparations

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AGARTALA: Barely 18 days are left for the by-elections in two constituencies – Khowai (Khowai District) and Barjala (West Tripura District), all the political parties have geared up their preparations to win over these seats.

The CPM  candidates were the first to  file their nomination papers in both the seats. The Trinamool Congress today completed filing nominations in both the seats. BJP had filed nominations in Barjala seat today as they had already completed nomination submission process in Khowai seat earlier.

However, the Congress candidates for Khowai and Barjala seats would file nomination papers on November 1 and 2.

As the schedule of nomination submission would end by November 2, the papers would be scrutinized the following day. The contestants could withdraw their nominations on November 5. The elections would be conducted on November 19 and the results would be announced on November 22 respectively.

The by-poll became necessitated after desertion of Congress MLA Jiten Sarkar who had switched over to CPM and death of CPM leader Samir Deb Sarkar.

In reference to poll campaign, the CPM local leaders and workers were entrusted to give a push to the campaign in these two constituencies with bigwigs kept away from the campaigning.

The Congress is yet to decide if they would invite any central leaders for their campaigning.

BJP sources said that North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convener – Himanta Biswa Sharma is expected to arrive the state in the first week of November to discuss political strategy. During his visit, he would also take part in campaign trail. Besides, West Bengal-based BJP leader – Roopa Ganguly are also expected to address in the campaign.

For Trinamool Congress, its vice president Mukul Roy had few days ago, came here to sort out strategy and he had joined the campaign.

According to political statisticians, Congress could not win the Khowai seat till 2013 except in 1972 and 1988 after the princely state – Tripura had attained statehood status on January 21, 1972.

Congress leaders – Jadushankar Bhattacharya and Arun Kar won the seat in 1972 and 1988 respectively.

Jadushankar was succeeded by CPM leader Kamini Thakur Singha in 1977. Samir Deb Sarkar, CPM leader had emerged as winner in this constituency in 1983. After a 10 years gap, he became MLA in 1993 till 2013 Assembly polls.

The CPM had ruled the Barjala seat only for four terms since 1977.

Former Congress woman leader – Basana Chakraborty was the first MLA in Barjala seat in 1972. Later, CPM leader Gouri Bhattacharya came to power in this seat for two terms -1977 and 1983. Arun Bhowmik won this seat from JD (B) in 1993 Assembly elections. The  CPM supported JD (B) on this seat.

In 2008, Shankar Prasad Datta from CPM party had won the seat.

The seat came under Congress' grip in 1988, 1998, 2003 under Dipak Roy and Jiten Sarkar in 2013.

In the last Assembly elections, Jiten Sarkar had defeated CPM contender – Jutan Das by 261 votes. Jiten got total 17728 votes and the CPM candidate bagged total 17467 votes.

Similarly, Samir Deb Sarkar got 22692 votes against the then Congress leader Dipak Majumder who managed to get 13859 votes leaving a difference of only 8833 votes.

Interestingly, both the 2013 Congress contestants had deserted the party – Jiten Sarkar had joined the Marxist party which he had left earlier and Dipak Majumder had shifted to Trinamool Congress.

Initially, the TMC had urged other opposition parties to extend support to them, but neither the Congress nor BJP had accepted the request and fielded their candidates, thus rising a scope of division of  the anti-Left votes  into three opposition parties.

(TNT)

(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)