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Tripura Elections 2023: CPI(M) drops former CM Manik Sarkar, fields 43 candidates

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Eight sitting CPI(M) MLAs, including former chief minister Manik Sarkar (74), have been "relieved of" contest-related responsibilities this time.

New Delhi, Jan 25: The CPI(M) led Left Front on Wednesday released a list of 47 candidates for the upcoming Tripura Election 2023. However, name of former chief minister and sitting MLA Manik Sarkar was missing from the list.

Manik Sarkar

According to the seat sharing formula, CPIM, will contest 43 seats, while one seat each will be contested by CPI, RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party), and AIFB (All India Forward Bloc).

Meanwhile, a total of eight sitting Left MLAs, including former Chief Minister and senior politburo member Manik Sarkar, have been relieved from contesting the polls. The front has left one seat for Independent aspirant Puroshottyam Ray Barman, an advocate and human rights activist, he said.

Sarkar, who headed the state government from 1998 to 2018, is the most credible face of the state party. Sarkar humbly declined to contest the elections, despite requests, Left Front convenor Narayan Kar said at a press meet.

Asked about the front's failed attempt to stitch an alliance with regional outfit Tipra Motha, Choudhury, who was also present at the press meet, asserted that the Left Front will not favour any proposal to bifurcate Tripura.

"I spoke with Tipra Motha supremo (Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma) yesterday and tried to explain to him that the Left Front can go to great extents to empower indigenous people. We told him that the front is in favour of according more power and autonomy to Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC)," Kar said.

He, however, stuck to his demand for a separate state. The Left Front is completely against the idea of disintegrating Tripura's geography, culture and history," the senior CPI(M) leader added.

The Congress party has not yet released their list of candidates, amid reports of disagreement with the Left parties.

Elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly will be held on February 16 and the last date for filing nominations is January 30. In last year's by-election, Congress had backed Tipra Motha candidate Baburam Satnami in the Surma Assembly constituency.

The BJP-IPFT combine swept to power in the state in 2018 winning 43 seats in the 60-member House. The BJP bagged 35 seats and the IPFT 8.

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