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Assembly polls: Rift surfaces in Tripura BJP over ticket distribution

Tripura BJP vice president Subal Bhowmik on Sunday said he will not contest the elections after he was given ticket from Sonamura seat

Tripura Elections 2018 Updated: Feb 09, 2018 14:34 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Assembly polls,Tripura,BJP
BJP President Amit Shah addresses a party rally in Tripura , where the party is trying to unseat the ruling Left Front. (PTI Photo )

Tripura BJP vice president Subal Bhowmik on Sunday decided not to contest next month’s assembly elections ostensibly after being denied nominations from the constituency he opted for, in a first sign of dissidence in the party over ticket distribution.

The BJP released names of 44 candidates on Saturday and another four on Sunday. It’s yet to decide candidate for another seat. The party will contest 51 of the total 60 seats in the state while its ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) will contest the rest.

The BJP has of late emerged as the principal opposition to the ruling Left Front in the state.

Bhowmik was named as the party candidate from Sonamura seat in the list announced on Saturday.

“I congratulate all party leaders who have been selected for contesting the polls. But I didn’t expect to get ticket from Sonamura constituency. I would not contest this poll due to some personal reasons,” Bhowmik told a local TV channel on Sunday.

Though Hindustan Times tried to contact him over telephone, but he didn’t receive calls.

When contacted, BJP president Biplab Deb said he has no information of any rift in the party.

“I don’t have such information of any kind of internal-feud after declaration of list of candidates. Even Subal Bhowmik attended Sunday’s party meeting along with me,” said Deb over telephone.

Bhowmik had won from Sonamura as a Congress candidate in 2008. After his defeat from the same seat on a Congress ticket in 2013 he had floated his own party – ‘Tripura Pragatishil Gramin Congress’.

Bhowmik had joined the BJP in 2015 along with his supporters and members of his party.

In a separate development, miffed over non-inclusion of women candidates, the IPFT’s women wing announced to field their own candidates in the 20 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribe.

“We initially wanted the IPFT president to give tickets to at least five women. After alliance with the BJP, we curtailed our demand to only one seat. But they didn’t give any. So, we have decided to break away from the party and field our own candidates,” said IPFT women wing chief Swapna Debbarma at Agartala.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 22:22 IST