Born of a middle class family on January 22, 1949, at Radhakishorepur, South Tripura Manik Sarkar jumped headlong into the students movement during his early academic career at the turbulent times of the food movement of 1967 against the then Congress government of Tripura.
It was his vital and vigorous role in this mass movement that inducted him into the CPI (M) of which he became a member in 1968, when he was a student of the premier educational institution of the state, the MBB College. He had become the General Secretary of MBB College Student’s Union as the SFI nominee and later on also held the post of SFI State Committee Secretary and of Vice President of the all India Committee of SFI in quick succession. He acquired Degree in Commerce from Calcutta University.
In 1972, he was elected a member of the CPI (M) State Committee and was inducted into the party state Secretariat in 1978, the year in which the first Left Front government had assumed office. At the 12th Party Congress held in 1985, he became a member of the party Central Committee. His first stint as an MLA started in 1980 when he was elected as a CPI(M) candidate in a bye–election of the State Assembly from Agartala Town constituency and was also entrusted with the charge of the Left Front Chief Whip.
Following the assumption of office by the third Left Front government in 1993, he became the State Secretary of the CPI(M) and the State Left Front Convenor. In the Tripura Legislative elections in 1998, he has been elected from the Dhanpur Assembly Constituency under Sonamura Sub – Division, West Tripura. Shri Sarkar became member of the CPI(M) politburo in 1998.