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Tripura assembly elections 2023: Key seats, candidates to watch out for

Mar 02, 2023 05:44 AM IST

Tripura assembly elections 2023: Exit polls predicted that the BJP and its ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), will be very close to or cross the majority mark on its own, while the TIPRA-Motha likely to snag a large chunk of seats in the tribal-dominated districts.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies would be hoping to retain power in Tripura, the Left parties and Congress would be betting on their combined force to topple the saffron party in the assembly elections. TIPRA Motha is also likely to make an impressive debut and snag a large chunk of seats in Tribal-dominated districts. Most of the exit polls predicted that the BJP and its ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), will be very close to or cross the majority mark on its own, with the Left-Congress combine left far behind.

Congress's Sudip Roy Barman, Tripura CM Manik Saha, and Union minister Pratima Bhoumik.

Take a look at key candidates and their constituency

Manik Saha (BJP) – Town Borodowali

Tripura chief minister Manik Saha, who is leading the BJP-IPFT coalition’s effort to return to power for the second time, is up against Congress's Asish Kumar Saha from Town Bardowali. The other candidates in the fray are Ananta Banerjee of Trinamool Congress, Arnab Roy of the Republican Party of India (A), and two independent candidates -- Ramkrishna Debnath and Shibani Bhowmik. Manik Saha first won the Town Bardowali seat in the by-election held in June last year, defeating Asish Kumar Saha.

Jishnu Dev Varma (BJP) - Charilam

Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, known to have a sizeable following among the state’s indigenous population, will be eyeing to retain the Charilam seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe. The challengers from the Charilam seat are Congress’s Ashok Deb Barma and Subodh Deb Barma of the TIPRA Motha Party, led by another erstwhile royal Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma.

Rajiv Bhattacharjee (BJP) - Banamalipur

BJP has fielded its state unit chief Rajiv Bhattacharjee from the Banamalipur assembly constituency, from where former Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb fought and won in the 2018 assembly polls. After Manik Saha replaced Biplab Kumar Deb as the chief minister, BJP effected another major change by appointing Rajib Bhattacharjee its state unit president. Saha headed the Tripura BJP before his elevation. Congress has fielded former MLA Gopal Roy contested from Banamalipur. Other candidates from Banamalipur are TMC's Santanu Saha and two independents -- Brajlal Debnath and Sujata Datta.

Jitendra Choudhury (CPI-M) - Sabroom

Former Lok Sabha MP and state general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Jitendra Choudhury contested against BJP’s Sankar Roy from the Sabroom assembly constituency. In 2018, Sankar Roy defeated Rita Kar Majumder from Sabroom in a closely fought election, with a winning margin of just over 2,000 votes. The Left parties in Tripura have partnered with Congress to topple the BJP-led government.

Pratima Bhoumik (BJP) - Dhanpur

BJP has fielded Union minister Pratima Bhoumik from Dhanpur, sniffing a chance to snatch the seat earlier held by CPI (M) leader and former chief minister Manik Sarkar, who opted out of the assembly polls to give space to newcomers for future leadership. CPI(M) fielded Kaushik Chanda while TMC and TIPRA Motha fielded Amiya Dayal Noatia from Dhanpur. Bappi Debnath and Rakesh Sukla Das are two independent candidates in the fray.

Pranajit Singh Roy (BJP) and Partha Karmakar (CPI-M) - Radhakishorepur

Radhakishorepur is likely to witness a three-way contest with incumbent BJP MLA Pranajit Singh Roy up against Partha Karmakar of CPI (ML)(L) and Srikanta Datta of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). In 2018, Pranajit Singh Roy defeated his closest rival, Srikanta Datta, by nearly 5,000 votes.

Sudip Roy Barman (Congress) - Agartala

Sudip Roy Barman, who fought and won from Agartala as a BJP candidate in the 2018 assembly elections, later switched to Congress and retained the seat in last year’s bypoll in a three-way contest. Sudip Roy Barman defeated BJP's Ashok Sinha by nearly 3,000 votes while Krishna Majumder came third with 6,808 votes. With no challenge from Left parties, Barman is up against BJP’s Papia Dutta and Arnab Roy of the Republican Party of India (A). Three independent candidates – Goutam Deb, Malin Debbarma, Mangal Mia – are also in the fray.

Priyamani Debbarma (CPI-M) and Sanjoy Manik Tripura (TIPRA Motha) - Karbook

Karbook is a reserved constituency for Scheduled Tribes and TIPRAMotha has thrown its hat this time by fielding Sanjoy Manik Tripura. BJP replaced incumbent MLA Burba Mohan Tripura, who defeated Priyamani Debbarma of CPIM in the 2018 assembly election by less than 800 votes, with Ashim Kumar Tripura. While CPI(M) has again put its bet on Priyamani Debbarma, Trinamool Congress has fielded Milton Chakma from Karbook.

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