In a significant political development, Congress has extended support to the candidate of TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) in Surma (SC) constituency, one of four Assembly seats where by-elections will be held on June 23. Party observer for Tripura Dr. Ajay Kumar confirmed the support to the regional party headed by state’s royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman to ensure what he called ‘defeat’ of the BJP in the constituency.
Debbarman has welcomed the move, but denied any understanding with the Congress. “I will be happy if BJP and CPI(M) withdraw their aspirants and support us,” he told the newsmen.
TIPRA has put up a non-tribal candidate in Surma, which is an SC reserved seat. The party has selected Baburam Satnami, who comes from a tea worker’s family, in view of the sizeable number of tribal, tea worker and minority voters in the constituency.
Pradyot Debbarman said his party plans to contest in at least 35 Assembly constituencies in the State’s Assembly elections due early next year. He sounded confident over the party’s win at Surma in the ensuing by-poll.
Sunday was the last day for filing of nomination papers in by-elections for four Assembly constituencies.
BJP candidates for Town Bardowali constituency Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha and Dr. Ashok Sinha for Agartala constituency submitted their nominations.
Former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, a few central leaders, ministers and senior leaders joined the rally that took Dr Saha to the office of returning officer.
Dr. Manik Saha and Biplab Kumar Deb then flew to Dharmanagar in a chopper to attend the nomination submission event of party candidate Malina Debnath, who is contesting from Jubarajnagar constituency.
Congress candidates Sudip Roy Barman and Ashish Kumar Saha, who are contesting from Agartala and Town Bordowali also submitted nomination to their respective Returning Officers. Significantly, both have won from their home turfs for five consecutive terms.
The by-elections are to witness a multi-cornered contest with ruling BJP and opposition Congress, CPI(M)-led Left front, TIPRA and Trinamool Congress in the fray.