Agartala, Feb 22: Election Commission of India (ECI) has made all arrangement for roughly about 20.35 Lakh electorate of Tripura to decide the fate of 313 candidates, including 31 women and 64 independent candidates tomorrow.
According to ECI record, a tribal leader who was once among the most wanted people in the state, a legend queen of Tripura, seven crorepatis and the poorest Chief Minister in India Mr Manik Sarkar are in the fray this time.
Bijoy Hrankghwal, contesting the elections for his third consecutive term as MLA, was once a 'most-dreaded' militant leader during eighties and he was the one, who as head of the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV), an armed separatist group, unleashed a reign of terror in the 1980s leading to a series of massacres, mostly of non-tribal.
Hrankghwal, had come back to mainstream, signed an accord with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and joined hands with the Congress under the banner of Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti, which was able to oust the Left Front from power in 1988.
Tripura Election Watch (TEW), a platform of NGOs to educate the voters in Tripura has released the report recently, mentioned about at least seven crorepatis. While the richest candidate contesting was Congress's Subal Bhowmik contesting from Sonamura segment bordering Bangladesh, present chief minister Manik Sarkar appeared top be the poorest candidates having only Rs 13,920 in two banks in list.
Mr Bhowmik declared assets of Rs 17.88 crore who had beaten even Bibhukumari Debi, who is revered in the state as a former Rajmata of the erstwhile princely state of Tripura. Bibhukumari, three-time MLA and one-time Lok Sabha MP, is the Congress candidate from Matabari in South Tripura stated assets of Rs 6.57 lakh.
According to TEW report, all seven candidates whose declared assets are more than Rs one crore belong to the Congress. They include former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman. TEW added that the average declared assets of the Congress candidates stand at Rs 87.03 lakh, in sharp contrast to Rs 16.67 lakh of CPI (M) and other Left Front candidates followed by Rs 5.89 lakh of BJP candidates.