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Tripura Cong yet to name nominees

Agartala, March 6: The main Opposition party in Tripura, the Congress, is yet to decide on candidates for the Lok Sabha polls though the ruling CPM and the Trinamul Congress have already completed the process.

Election to the two Lok Sabha seats — West Tripura and East Tripura — will be held on April 7 and 12 respectively.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sudip Roy Barman had earlier indicated that former vice-chancellor of Tripura University, Prof. Arunoday Saha, had been short-listed for the West Tripura seat, while royal scion Pradyot Bikram Kishore was being considered for the East Tripura seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes. But Pradyot Bikram subsequently said he would never contest the polls.

Former MLA and Tripura Congress spokesperson Tapas De said they might now select former Deputy Speaker Gaurishankar Reang for the East Tripura seat. “The list of candidates will be announced soon, maybe within a week,” he said.

Tripura chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal announced yesterday that notification for the West Tripura seat would be issued on March 14 and for East Tripura it would be issued on March 19. “The last date for submitting nomination papers for the two seats is March 21 and 26 respectively. The nominations would be scrutinised on March 22 and March 27 respectively, while the last date for withdrawing nominations is March 24 for West Tripura and March 29 for East Tripura,” he said.

He said 23,83,146 voters will exercise their franchise in the polls, including 12,46,019 men and 11,37,127 women. “Around 3,259 voters will cast their votes through postal ballots,” said Jindal.

He said the Election Commission would make adequate security arrangements for the Lok Sabha polls.

“We are yet to decide on the exact force strength but Tripura police, Tripura State Rifles and paramilitary forces already available will be deployed and forces from outside will also be requisitioned. There is no reason to fear any trouble during the polls.”

He said foolproof security measures like 20 strong rooms and surveillance by closed-circuit television cameras will be in place. “We are now preparing a vulnerability map to prevent any disruption by militant groups or other trouble-makers,” said Jindal.