Agartala: Four-time Tripura Chief Minister and CPI(M) politburo member Manik Sarkar may abstain from contesting the 2023 Assembly election.
Sarkar reportedly has informed the CPI(M) politburo of his decision to not be the party’s face for the ensuing assembly elections, a senior CPI(M) leader privy to the development told EastMojo.
Sarkar was elected to the state assembly defeating Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik from Dhanpur, a high-profile constituency in Tripura’s Sepahijala district.
The move, if effected, assumes significance as the CPI(M) in Tripura has been trying hard to reclaim its lost bastion. Breaking the tradition, the party has also initiated talks with anti-BJP forces for the formation of a grand alliance.
On being contacted, a CPI(M) state committee member said, “On January 10, a CPI(M) state committee meeting is scheduled where the party’s former general secretary Prakash Karat and sitting general secretary Sitaram Yechury will be present. Opposition leader Manik Sarkar will also be present and the final decision on the list of candidates contesting for the party will be taken in the meeting.”
Requesting anonymity, the CPI(M) leader said, “After approval of the list of candidates, the CPI(M) state secretary will be entrusted to make it public within 24 hours of the declaration of the poll schedule.”
Party insiders said the party has changed its strategy for the elections. “A lot of new people will be given tickets. Qualification, political acumen and organizational activities have been set as primary yardsticks for the selection of candidates. In almost 60 per cent of the seats, fresh candidates are set to contest polls on CPI(M) tickets. Perhaps for the first time, such a big reshuffle has been effected in terms of party candidature,” a party leader told EastMojo.
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Apart from Sarkar, sitting CPI(M) MLAs Bhanu Lal Saha, Tapan Chakraborty and Badal Chowdhury are also set to be out of the electoral race.
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