BJP, Congress rebuff Trinamool call for anti-Left alliance in Tripura

BJP, Congress rebuff Trinamool call for anti-Left alliance in Tripura

Dismissing the Trinamool Congress (TMC) proposal to form an alliance to defeat the Left Front in the November 19 bypolls to two assembly seats in Tripura, the BJP on Friday announced its candidates.

The Congress too rejected the TMC appeal and will announce its nominees on Saturday.

The Election Commission will hold the by-elections on November 19 in Barjala and Khowai assembly constituencies in Tripura.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded former Tripura Civil Service Officer Shista Mohan Das for the Barjala seat and Tapan Kumar Paul in the Khowai constituency.

“No alliance of non-Left parties will be formed. TMC, unilaterally declaring its candidates, urged all non-Left parties to form an alliance to defeat the candidates of ruling Left Front in the next month’s by-elections,” BJP vice-president Subal Bhowmik told IANS.

“The TMC leadership did not discuss on the issue with us, probably with no other parties. We also want to fight strongly against the ruling Left Front,” he said.

The TMC had urged opposition parties to field united candidates for the bypolls to defeat the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CMI-M)-led Left Front in the state.

According to party President Surajit Datta and party leader Sudip Roy Barman, the TMC appealed to all opposition parties to support it to avert division of opposition votes in both assembly bypolls.

Barman, who led a split in the main opposition Congress recently, said: “To free Tripura from the clutches of CPI-M-dominated Left Front, the opposition must unite.”

The TMC earlier this week nominated former minister Prakash Das for the Barjala constituency and Manoj Das, a former CPI-M leader, for the Khowai constituency.

A large number of Congress leaders, including Das and six party legislators led by Barman, recently quit the Congress protesting the party’s alliance with the Left Front in West Bengal polls.

Rejecting the TMC appeal, the Congress said the TMC itself damaged the option by unilaterally declaring its nominees for the bypolls.

“Before announcing candidates, the TMC should have discussed the issue. We will declare our candidates on Saturday,” Tripura Congress Vice President Tapas Dey said.

The Left Front on Monday declared their aspirants — youth leader Jhumu Sarkar in Barjala and district party secretary Biswajit Datta in Khowai.

Ahead of the 2018 polls in the Left-ruled Tripura, the crucial bypolls are set to be a multi-cornered contest, giving an electoral gain to the ruling CPI-M.

The Barjala assembly seat fell vacant after the Congress legislator Jitendra Sarkar resigned on June 6 this year following internal feud in the main opposition party. The Khowai seat has been vacant since the death of veteran CPI-M legislator Samir Deb Sarkar, who was the chief whip of the Left Front in the 60-member state assembly.

In all 39,007 electorate, including 18,935 female, will be eligible to vote in the Barjala seat, while 39,400 voters, including 19,436 women, will cast votes in Khowai.

District Magistrates of West Tripura and Khowai districts on Thursday held separate all-party meetings to hold the by-elections smoothly.

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