The Tripura BJP has finalised the seat-sharing deal with old ally IPFT for the February 16 assembly election, giving the junior partner in the coalition five constituencies, four less than what it got in the 2018 polls.
Announcing that, Chief Minister Manik Saha told a press conference here that the BJP will contest in 55 constituencies.
The CM will contest from Town Bardowali, the constituency he won in a by-poll last year.
Earlier in the day in New Delhi, the saffron party released the party's first list of 48 candidates for the Tripura Assembly polls, fielding 11 women including Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik.
Saha said the names of the remaining seven nominees will be announced later.
The list was announced on Saturday, when only two days are left for filing nominations.
The saffron party contested the 2018 assembly election together with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the alliance partners fielded candidates in 48 and 12 seats respectively.
The BJP-IPFT combine swept to power in the state replacing the 25-year-old Left Front regime winning 43 seats in the 60-member assembly. The BJP bagged 35 seats and the IPFT eight.
Pratima Bhoumik lost the 2018 election to four-time Chief Minister Manik Sarkar from the Dhanpur seat which has a sizeable number of minority community voters. A year later, she became a Lok Sabha MP and the minister of state for social justice and social empowerment.
Bhoumik will again contest from Dhanpur.
Four sitting MLAs were dropped to pave the way for newcomers.
Former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, now a Rajya Sabha MP, did not feature in the list, and BJP state president Rajib Bhattacharjee will contest from Town Bardowali, the constituency held by the former.
The BJP replaced Deb with Manik Saha as the chief minister in May last year. The ex-CM later became a member of the Rajya Sabha.
State president Rajib Bhattacharjee said, “The tickets were given by the party's parliamentary board after analysing the performance of the ministers, MLAs and leaders. The party's state leadership has no hand in the process.” On dropping four MLAs - Mimi Majumder, Biplab Ghosh, Arun Chandra Bhowmik and Parimal Debbarma, Chief Minister Manik Saha said, “It happens every time and it is not a big issue”.
The last date for filing nominations is January 30. The polling will be held on February 16 and counting will take place on March 2.
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