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All 10 Cong MLAs to get tickets in Tripura

Agartala, Dec. 19: The Tarun Gogoi-headed screening committee for allotting tickets to Congress candidates for the upcoming Tripura Assembly polls has decided to re-nominate all 10 sitting legislators from their respective constituencies.

The four-hour meeting, held at a private resort in Khanapara in Guwahati last night, also pruned the list of aspirants to 98 from 209 finalised by the Pradesh election committee.

The meeting was presided over by Gogoi and attended by AICC general secretary Luizinho Falerio, Union minister Jitin Prasada, Tripura PCC president Sudip Roy Barman and leader of Tripura Congress Legislature Party Ratanlal Nath.

“The screening committee headed by Gogoi pruned the list of 209 aspirants down to only 98 for 50 Assembly seats. The remaining 10 seats in the 60-member House were presumably for the alliance partner, the Indigenous National Party of Twipra (INPT).”

The INPT has one sitting legislator in the House — Bijoy Hrangkhawal from Kulai. “The sitting MLAs have been retained for 10 seats. Among the remaining 50, only two names each have been allotted for the 32 seats and three names each for the remaining eight,” the source added.

The source said this evening, Gogoi, accompanied by Tripura PEC chairman Birajit Sinha, Roy Barman and Nath would hold a meeting with leaders of the INPT to hammer out a seat-sharing deal for the February Assembly elections.

“After the screening committee comes to a definite decision, the report and the list will be furnished to the central election committee for smoothening the rough edges and finalising. After the final list is done, it will then go to AICC president Sonia Gandhi for the final approval, and in case any problem persists, her decision will be final and binding,” the source added.

Four abducted

In a sudden attack on Mahantapara village under Karbook police station in Gomati district, a group of 10 armed NLFT militants abducted four villagers as they failed to pay the extortion money.

Nepal Das, deputy inspector-general (operations), said around 11 last night, armed NLFT rebels stormed the Mahantapara village.

They selectively broke into the thatched huts of Parakumar, Motidas, Nandaram and Jadavmohan Jamatya.The four were severely beaten with rifle butts and taken across the border. This morning, they demanded Rs 4 lakh for their release.