Agartala: The Election Commission could announce poll dates for the much-talked-about by-elections in the four assembly constituencies of Tripura early next week.

The by-polls, ahead of the 2023 assembly election, assume significance in the state’s political landscape as all the major political parties would want to assess their structural and organisational strength ahead of the final electoral bout.

For the ruling BJP, the poll battle will be quite challenging this time as unlike in 2018, the saffron party faces Congress, its arch-rival.

If not in all the four constituencies, the Congress may emerge as a reason of worry in 6 Agartala and 8 Bardowali constituencies, which are considered to be the home turfs of former Minister Sudip Roy Barman and ex-MLA Asish Saha. Interestingly, both leaders retained the seats in consecutive elections while contesting under different political parties.

Even during their stint in the BJP, the duo contested from the same seats. But both quit the BJP and joined the Congress, claiming that the party had sidelined them for years.

The Jubarajnagar assembly constituency in North Tripura and Surma assembly seat under the Dhalai district are considered to be the ‘stronghold’ of the Left parties.

Notably, Jubarajnagar fell vacant after senior CPI (M) leader and former Speaker of Tripura Legislative Assembly Ramendra Chandra Debnath died due to a heart attack, while the BJP MLA from Surma was disqualified after he joined the Trinamool Congress.

If party insiders are to be believed, the BJP has almost completed its homework and is now executing its strategy. In the last couple of days, the BJP has made considerable progress in holding joining programmes in the 8 Bardowali constituency.

Tripura BJP state President and newly-elected MP from Rajya Sabha, Dr Manik Saha, a resident of the constituency, is leading from the front and welcomed the new entrants into the party fold.

Addressing the voters of the area, he said, “People have every right to do politics and support different political parties but the voters must understand whom they are voting for.” 

A total of 200 voters from different political parties, mostly Congress, joined the saffron party during the event.

Sources in the ruling party informed that a core committee meeting was held recently to assess the party’s preparedness for the ensuing by-elections. The process of selection of the candidate and formation of committees for supervision of the constituencies had already been formed, the party sources said.

On the other hand, Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman Asish Saha has also expressed his willingness to fight the by-polls. Roy Barman said, “Definitely, I want to fight the elections. But, any decision in this regard is the prerogative of the party’s high command. If the party shows confidence in me, I shall fight the polls”.

Exuding confidence, Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee President Birajit Sinha said, “Both Barman and Shah have the merit to fight the elections and if the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner, the ruling party will fail to open their account”.

Meanwhile, the primary opposition Left is also in the poll race. “A state committee meeting will be convened soon to prepare a roadmap to strengthen the party,” CPI (M) state committee member Pabitra Kar said.

CPI(M) State secretary Jitendra Chowdhury said, “We shall surely fight the elections with our full strength. There should be no doubt about that”.

Also read: India records 975 fresh COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths


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