Agartala, Jan. 12: The Congress high command last night announced nomination of 48 party candidates for the state’s 60-member Assembly, keeping one pending and leaving 11 seats open for regional ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT).
Though AICC leaders Oscar Fernandez, Ahmed Patel and Luizinho Faleiro, in consultation with Sonia Gandhi, had dropped 15 names from the list finalised by PCC president Sudip Roy Barman and Opposition leader Ratanlal Nath, the final list announced at 10pm last night has triggered serious reactions in many parts of the state.
The entire block Congress, Youth Congress and women’s Congress committees in Charilam constituency in Sipahijala district have come out in open revolt demanding nomination of royal scion Pradyot Bikram Kishore in place of Himani Debbarma, an Agartala-based leader of the party and a rank outsider.
“In the last five years, Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Kishore has taken good care of the entire constituency, helping people and rushing in whenever we called him in distress. Now if he is deprived we are not going to allow anybody else to set foot here,” the president of the Charilam block Congress committee, Amal Debnath, said.
He said the block’s Youth Congress president Suman Debnath, women’s committee president Archana Debbarma and minority cell president Billal Mia would tender their resignations from the party unless Pradyot Bikram was nominated from this constituency. Debnath said messages had been faxed to AICC president Sonia Gandhi.
Sources in the Congress here said Barman had always seen Pradyot Bikram as a “rival for chief ministership” and never wanted him to contest from Charilam.
Barman, backed by Nath, had proposed Pradyot’s name as a candidate for far- off Raima Valley or Karamcherra constituency where few know him, to ensure his defeat.
Pradyot had refused to enter the fray from Karamcherra and Raima Valley. Barman and his followers said he was not ready to contest. “Actually Himani’s husband is a land broker and a moneyed man and this seems to have impa- cted the final selection of nominee for Charilam,” sources said.