Chief Minister Manik Saha is contesting from 8-Bordowali assembly constituency of West Tripura district

Agartala: Congress and BJP candidates on Monday submitted their nomination papers to the respective returning officers followed by public rallies in Agartala. BJP candidates, including CM Dr Manik Saha, filed nomination papers for all four constituencies while Congress fielded candidates in three seats, barring the Surma assembly constituency.

Former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, out of the state for a little over a week, returned to the state on Monday morning to attend the public rallies for BJP candidates. Deb accompanied Dr Saha and Malina Debnath, BJP candidates for the Jubarajnagar assembly constituency, during their nomination submission and addressed the party workers canvassing votes for both candidates.

Deb, who stepped down from his post as per the direction of the party high command, said the BJP is set to create history yet again by winning all four seats by a record margin.

“In Tripura, BJP formed its government for the first time in 2018, which was quite unexpected for many. We are going to repeat the same in the by-elections as well. BJP candidates will register landslide victories in all four seats. These polls are being considered as a warm-up for the organisation in the run-up to 2023 assembly elections”, said Deb.

Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, set for an electoral debut from his home constituency—Bordowali, said, “BJP’s commitment towards establishing social order and peace are the key agendas he will highlight during the poll campaign. Besides, development of the state is another poll issue on which he will dwell upon during the poll campaign starting very shortly”. 

A hopeful Saha also said that he believes that the people of Tripura once again repose their faith in BJP akin to the previous elections held after 2018.

BJP candidate from 6-Agartala assembly constituency Dr Ashok Sinha explained “development” as his key agenda. On his rival candidate Sudip Roy Barman, Sinha said, “He is a good friend of mine. It is going to be fair competition and personal relations come beyond elections. If people elect me as their representative, I shall try my level best to work hard for them even my first work after poll results will be to return to the public and inquire about their problems.”

According to Dr Sinha, the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are a big advantage for him. Thousands of BJP workers joined the rallies from both the constituencies.

BJP candidates for 46-Surma and 57-Jubaraj nagara assembly constituencies Swapna Das Paul and Malina Debnath also submitted their nomination papers later in the day.

Meanwhile, both the heavyweight Congress candidates Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha also filed their nomination papers hours after the BJP rally. CWC member AICC-in-charge for Tripura, Dr Ajoy Kumar, reached Agartala this morning and attended the nomination rallies held back to back.

After a long time, Agartala residents witnessed a Congress rally receiving such high footfalls and enthusiasm. Speaking to reporters, AICC Tripura-in-charge Dr Ajoy Kumar said the Congress party would certainly win two seats and in Jubarajnagar it will give a tough fight to rivals. 

“In two seats of Agartala—8-Town Bordowali and 6-Agartala both the Congress candidates certainly defeat the BJP there is no doubt about that. In Jubarajnagar, we hope our candidate Susmita Debnath will put up a strong fight”, said Kumar.

The Congress leader also slammed the ruling party and claimed that allegations of large scale corruption forced the BJP to replace Chief Minister barely a year before the elections.

“This has become an open secret. Biplab Kumar Deb was removed by the party’s high command for his utter failure and corruption. People know everything and they will speak their mind through casting their votes,” said Kumar.

After filing his nomination, former minister and Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman said, “BJP’s failure in fulfilling the aspiration of people will help the Congress easily win the elections. The way BJP betrayed people of Tripura, never can they win over the trust of people again.” 

Congress candidate Susmita Debnath also submitted her nomination from the Jubarajnagar assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress replaced its candidate from the 8-Bordowali constituency on Monday. Initially, Neel Kamal Saha was pitted against the heavyweight BJP and Congress leaders, but he was replaced by Sanhita Banerjee on the last day of nomination submission. Banerjee filed her nomination papers at Agartala, while TMC candidate for 46-Surma assembly constituency Arjun Namasudra filed his nomination papers to the respective Returning Officer. 

Also Read | Tripura: Can TIPRA be the new big brother of small, marginal parties?

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