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AICC mulls changes in list

Agartala, Jan. 11: In a new twist to the haggling over tangled Congress nomination for the Assembly elections, the AICC is mulling changes in the nomination following statewide reaction to the list of nominees initially finalised by the central election committee in Delhi and published in a local daily.

Having gathered reports from its own surveyors, intelligence bureau and media, the AICC has now decided to bring about changes in the list initially finalised.

Highly placed sources in the PCC currently camping in Delhi said AICC general secretary Luizinho Falerio, who was helping PCC president Sudip Roy Barman and leader of the Opposition Ratanlal Nath corner the majority of nominations, has been rendered powerless and the responsibility has been bestowed upon veteran Oscar Fernandez to effect changes for a least controversial list.

“Oscar had called Ratan Chakraborty, an aspirant for nomination from Khayerpur Assembly constituency, and indicated that Baptu Chakraborty, a political greenhorn backed by leader of the Opposition Ratanlal Nath, might be dropped. But in order to save their nominee from omission, both Ratanlal Nath and PCC president Sudip Roy Barman threatened that in case the list initially finalised was changed they would not contest the polls. However, Oscar Fernandez gave them no leeway,” a source said.

Apart from this, nominations from Amarpur constituency in Gomati district, Boxanagar constituency in Sipahijala district, Surma constituency in Dhalai district, Bagbasa constituency in North Tripura district are being reconsidered.

Sources said the AICC was seriously upset over Nath-Roy Barman duo’s deliberate sidelining of leaders like Ratan Chakraborty, Billal Mia, Jawhar Saha and several others and would make suitable changes. “The paper work is almost ready and it will now go to Sonia Gandhi for final approval and announcement tomorrow,” a source said.

The Election Commission today announced February 14 as the date for Tripura Assembly elections and February 28 as the counting date.

Mixed reaction to poll date: The February 14 date for the Tripura Assembly polls has evoked conflicting reactions from the main political parties here.

While the state CPM has welcomed the Election Commission decision to hold the polls on February 14 and the counting on February 28, the state Congress leaders seem slightly put out.

Tripura CPM spokesperson and senior leader Gautam Das said, “We welcome the judicious decision taken by the Election Commission. In our deputation with the full bench of the commission on January 5 we had requested for elections by the middle of February, citing valid grounds like the month of March being packed with different board examinations. The commission has accepted our request and we are grateful for that. It is the right decision.”

Congress leaders, who are camping in Delhi for nomination, however, seem slightly put out by the decision.

PCC general secretary and sitting MLA Subal Bhowmik said the commission, being a constitutional body, was free to take its own decisions. “We wanted the election to be held towards the end of February, citing irregularities in the electoral roll and the time required for its correction, but the commission in its wisdom has announced the date in the middle of February. We have to accept this,” he said.

He added that even yesterday, a party delegation headed by AICC legal cell chief K.C. Mittal met Election Commission officials and demanded preparation of an error-free electoral roll.

Neither Roy Barman nor Nath were available for comment.


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