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Cong wallows in faction feud

Agartala, Jan. 21: The CPM-led Left Front is adding finishing touches to the first round of campaign for the February 14 Assembly elections, but the Opposition Congress is still in a state of disarray with a shadow of uncertainty hanging over nominations of its candidates.

The Congress high command has summoned PCC president Sudip Roy Barman to Delhi for a discussion over the nomination of candidates before releasing the final list by tomorrow evening. Barman who has launched his campaign for the Agartala (No-6) Assembly constituency in the heart of the town left for Delhi this morning.

“We believe that the high command is all set to effect last-minute changes in the nomination list and that is why the PCC president has been urgently called. Whether any other thing will be discussed by the high command with Roy Barman is still not clear,” said West District Congress Committee chief Tapan Dutta.

He, however, expressed concern that the Congress’s “fair pros-pects” in the election could be affected by the inordinate delay in finalising nominations and launching campaigns.

The feud in the Congress and allegations and counter-allegations continue unabated with royal scion Pradyot Bikram Kishore directly accusing Barman and Opposition leader Ratanlal Nath of a “calculated conspiracy” to deny him nomination from ST-reserved Charilam constituency.

Veteran leader Ratan Chakraborty, too, was dropped from the list of nominations from Khayerpur constituency in favour of Youth Congress greenhorn Baptu Chakra-borty.

Bikram Kishore said he would not have opened his mouth but for the “blatant lie floated by Sudip-Ratanlal combine” that he had refused to accept nomination.

“I shall remain in the Congress to work for the party and I have asked my workers and supporters who protested against denial of nomination to me, to work for Himani Debbarma, the candidate nominated by the high command. I will address her poll meetings,” he said.

On the other hand, chief minister Manik Sarkar is spearheading the statewide campaign for a seventh Left Front government of the state. Sarkar held three meetings in his constituency Dhanpur in Sipahijala district yesterday and addressed two more today.

Sarkar has also been addressing poll meetings across the state. He is highlighting the Congress-INPT combine’s “unholy nexus” with banned militant outfits and involvement of a senior indigenous leader of Congress, Debabrata Koloi in an attempt to send Rs 25 lakh to NLFT militants across the border through surrendered militant Dhanu Koloi last year.

“Congress means instability, insurgency, exploitation of the poor and ruin. Ensure the Left Front’s victory for peace, prosperity and stability in Tripura,” the chief minister told voters.


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