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Ticket squabbles continue in Cong

Agartala, Jan. 19: The Congress in Tripura continues to witness turmoil over the candidate list for the Assembly polls, the changed version of which may be finalised by Monday. As the Congress’s central leaders are busy discussing crucial issues at the chintan shivir in Jaipur and the state leaders are awaiting the final list here, PCC president Sudip Roy Barman today held a meeting of the initially selected candidates and asked them to continue the poll campaign.

The dissension over the earlier candidate list, however, continued to rock the party.

The party’s Scheduled Tribe cell in Charilam (ST) constituency organised a daylong sit-in in Dhariathal village in protest against denial of nomination to royal scion Pradyot Bikram Kishore. The ticket was given to an Agartala-based indigenous community woman leader, Himani Debbarma.

“We had earlier organised demonstrations at Agartala in front of Congress Bhawan. The people of the constituency want ‘Maharaja’ Pradyot Bikram Kishore to be nominated for Charilam,” Charilam block Congress president Amal Debnath said. He said all Congress workers in the constituency would continue to press for Kishore’s nomination and oppose Himani, who, he said, had “nothing to do with the constituency”.

Sitting Congress MLA from Sonamura and PCC general secretary Subal Bhowmik, however, said Kishore had refused the ticket and was “unnecessarily complicating issues” now by sponsoring the agitation. “I was in the meeting of the screening committee in Guwahati headed by Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Kishore had refused to accept nomination from Charilam when Gogoi offered to shortlist his name. He did the same in Delhi. But when the central election committee-approved list came out, he started grumbling and protesting. This is most unbecoming,” Bhowmik said. The PCC leader said despite a “little confusion”, the Congress would perform “unexpectedly well” in the polls.

In another development, the AICC last night issued a statement saying that Baptu Chakraborty of the Youth Congress had been nominated in Khayerpur Assembly constituency instead of former minister Ratan Chakraborty.

Reacting to this, Chakraborty said, “It was a mere formality, as I had already been informed by AICC general secretary Luizinho Falerio over phone that Baptu would replace me. If the leadership thinks the party’s chances will brighten in Khayerpur by dropping me, I have nothing to say.”

The trouble over nomination of Sevika Reang in Kanchanpur subdivision instead of Sanjit Reang, who had narrowly lost the last Assembly elections, also continued, with thousands of Sanjit’s supporters demonstrating in front the Kanchanpur party office yesterday demanding revocation of the nomination.