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Gogoi readies Tripura poll candidate sieve

Agartala, Dec. 17: The Tarun Gogoi-led screening committee, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of shortlisting candidates for the Tripura Assembly elections, is likely to face a few problems owing to the plans of PCC president Sudip Roy Barman.

The committee comprises former MLA Tapas De, MLA and former PCC president Gopal Roy, legislator Subal Bhowmik and legislator and chairman of the Pradesh election committee, Birajit Sinha.

Sinha reached Guwahati today while the others had arrived yesterday.

Other members of the committee — PCC president Sudip Roy Barman and leader of Opposition Ratanlal Nath will reach Guwahati tomorrow.

Former PCC president Gopal Roy said they had a round of discussions with Gogoi yesterday, but refused to give details of what transpired in the meeting. He said Gogoi had personally gathered feedback on Tripura. “Since he is already aware of the ground realities in the state there will be no difficulty in reaching a decision,” Gopal said.

Congress sources said the screening committee would face problems while shortlisting the nominations because of Sudip Roy Barman’s plans to contest from Banamalipur (No-9) constituency, which is represented by Gopal Roy, instead of his traditional Agartala (No-6) constituency.

“Sudip is strongly backed by AICC general secretary Luizinho Falerio. He prevailed upon Youth Congress president Sushanta Chowdhury and Karmachari Federation leader Samar Roy to demand five seats for the Youth Congress. Sudip’s game plan is to concede the Agartala (No-6) seat, which he won consecutively in 1998, 2003 and 2008, to either Sushanta or Samar and himself switch over to the safe Banamalipur seat. Thus shunting out sitting member Gopal Roy to a constituency outside Agartala town,” a source said. Everybody has seen through the game plan and there will be strong opposition because the PCC president’s shifting of seat will “send a wrong signal to the rank and file”.

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