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Left will be back, says Karat

Agartala, Jan. 20: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today said the Left Front will definitely win the February 14 Assembly election in Tripura and constitute the seventh Left Front government with the blessings of the people.

Addressing a rally here at Astabol ground, Prakash said it was only a matter of time before the Left Front here won the election on the basis of its performance over the past so many years.

“I came here in 1978 after the Left Front had assumed power for the first time, except for five years between 1988 and 1993 the Left Front has been ruling the state uninterruptedly with great success,” he said. He, however, deplored the consistent attempts of successive central governments to destabilise the Left Front governments.

“One example is deprivation of Tripura by the 13th Finance Commission. The two UPA governments have given tax relief worth Rs 5 lakh crore to big capitalists and industrial houses. But Tripura was deprived of funds to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore by the commission,” he added.

Poll notification

The formal notification for the Assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland will be issued tomorrow according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission.

Tripura’s chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal said today that after the notification, the model code of conduct, which had become effective after announcement of the poll dates, would be strictly enforced.

“I have received reports against violation of the model code of conduct, including one against the chief minister, mostly from the Opposition Congress. I have filed reports to the chief election commissioner and he will take appropriate action,” said Jindal. He, however, refused to disclose the details of his findings.

The poll panel has appointed 10 expenditure observers for monitoring the expenses made by the candidates. A team of three special observers will arrive here tomorrow while a 10-member team of expenditure observers comprising senior IAS officers Shyam Dhar, Rajat Mitra, Alok Nag, Alok Agarwal, Shankar Kumar Halder, R. Sriram, Dipankar Mookherjee, Gautam Kumar Mandal, L. Dhyanden and Pinaki Mookherjee, will arrive subsequently.

Jindal said 2,000 personnel would be deployed for conducting the election in addition to government employees and teachers who will be on poll duty. He admitted that the state election department was facing problems in appointing micro-observers.

The filing of nomination by poll candidates will commence from tomorrow and end on January 28 and the scrutiny and withdrawal of nomination will be on January 30 and 31.

Left Front candidates will file nomination papers on January 24 while PCC president Sudip Roy Barman has asked all party candidates in a meeting yesterday to file nomination papers on January 25.