BJP, Cong announce name of candidates for Tripura by-election

Agartala, Jun 4 (PTI) The opposition Congress and the BJP on Saturday announced names of candidates for by-poll to Assembly constituencies in Tripura.

By-election to four seats -- Town Bardowali, Agartala, Surma and Jubarajnagar -- is scheduled to be held on June 23, two of which would see nominees of the grand old party locking horns with CPI(M) and BJP candidates.

Earlier in the day, the saffron party in Delhi has also declared the names of its candidates for the four seats.

Former MLA Sudip Roy Barman, who quit the saffron camp and joined the Congress in February, will lock horns with BJP vice president Ashok Sinha in Agartala constituency. He had won the seat by a comfortable margin in 2018.

Similarly, Asish Saha of the grand old party is up against the Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is also the state BJP president, in Town Bardowali.

Saha, who is not a member of the Assembly, was sworn in as the new chief minister on May 15, a day after Biplab Kumar Deb stepped down from the post.

Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president Birajit Sinha said, "We have fielded two tigers in two Assembly seats for winning the by-election. The party will strongly resist the activities of bike-borne miscreants during the by-election."

Opposition parties in the state had been alleging that bike-borne miscreants, "backed by the BJP", were unleashing terror across the state.

Roy Barman asserted that the Congress would support a candidate of a "like-minded party" in one of the two seats where it has not fielded any leader.

"Our sole intention is to defeat the saffron party in the by-election. If we feel we are not in a comfortable position in a certain seat, the party will not hesitate to render support to the candidate of another like-minded party. We can go to any extent to defeat the BJP," the Agartala nominee added.

The CPI(M) and the TMC have also declared names of their candidates.

Bypolls to Town Bardowali and Agartala were necessitated after BJP MLAs Roy Barman and Saha quit the party and the membership of the Assembly to join the Congress.

Surma was vacated by Ashish Das as he joined the TMC only to later quit the camp, while death of sitting MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath necessitated by-election to Jubrajnagar.