Agartala: After much dilly-dallying, the ruling Tripura BJP has finally released the list of candidates for fifty-five assembly constituencies, leaving five seats for its junior ally, the The Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).

Ever since the full list of candidates was released, however, thousands of party workers have revolted against the BJP leadership for their alleged failure in selection of suitable candidates. Violent demonstrations have been reported from many parts in Tripura even as party decorations were set afire in several places.

Reports are also coming in of party leaders resigning from their posts, while many are learnt to be contemplating contesting the polls as independent candidates. Some leaders are also said to be against the seat sharing with IPFT.

The wave of revolt reportedly first started from the Chandipur Assembly constituency under Unakoti district of Tripura, where state BJP General Secretary Tinku Roy has been fielded as the candidate. The local leaders are reportedly against Roy being the BJP nominee from the seat, as he was not a domicile of the area.

“Since veteran CPIM leader Tapan Chakraborty is not contesting the polls this time, we thought a suitable candidate may help us win the seat, which is otherwise regarded as a Left citadel. As soon as we came to know that (Tinku) Roy is the candidate from the area, all our party workers were disheartened. We hope the party top brass will reconsider their decision,” a local leader of the area told EastMojo on the condition of anonymity.

Similarly protests reportedly broke out at Bagbassa and Kadamtala-Kurti Assembly constituencies under North Tripura District, where aggrieved party workers put locks on the party’s offices as part of their demonstration. The BJP has fielded one Dilip Tanti as the candidate from the constituency.

Also read | Tripura polls: BJP to contest in 55 seats; ally IPFT to fight in 5

“Those who have worked hard for the party round the year have been sidelined by the party and someone not known in the constituency has been made the party’s face for election. We can’t accept that,” said the protestors.

Similar protests took place at Bagbassa against the BJP candidate from the constituency Jadab Lal Nath.


On the other hand, as many as 60 BJP Youth wing activists, including the unit chief resigned from his post at Jubarajnagar assembly constituency (North Tripura), citing differences with local MLA Molina Debnath, who successfully contested the by-elections. Debnath was nominated again by the party even as the local BJP workers sought a change.

“Dr Tamojit Nath was the first choice of all the party workers. But the party did not pay any heed to the repeated appeals of the local party leaders,” said Niharendu Nath, the Yuva Morcha President of Jubarajnagar. A total of 60 leaders under Nath’s leadership resigned from the party as a fallout of the candidate selection.

In South Tripura district, BJP workers staged protests in front of the Jolaibari party office stating that their seat was compromised by the senior party leaders to keep the BJP-IPFT alliance intact. IPFT General Secretary Shukla Charan Noatia is fighting the polls as candidate of the ruling combine against a fierce competitor, CPIM candidate Debendra Tripura. TIPRA is also fighting the polls.

Local BJP worker Prabir Banik said, “Our internal booth review suggested that we could win the seat this time, but the party has now imposed their decision upon us. We tried convincing the party workers but the response was lukewarm.”

The local party office was locked after protests but unlocked on Saturday night. BJP sources said, “Both BJP and IPFT are trying to settle the problems arising out of the resentment of local workers.”

Sources also said if the BJP did not give an official candidate, the local supporters will make sure that 10,323 teacher Sadhuan Mog files nomination papers as an independent candidate.

Senior BJP leader Shyamal Bhakta Chowdhury of Kamalasagar assembly constituency under Sepahijala district is also filing nomination as an independent candidate. Chowdhury, a retired government employee, worked for the BJP over the last five years. Even local Mandal President Gouranga Bhowmik and BJP state president Rajib Bhattacharjee assured him a party ticket this time. 

“I have worked for the government all these years of my service life. Now, I will work for the people of my constituency. I will contest the elections independently,” he said. 

Expressing his disappointment over the BJP, he said, “Well, my father was a widely respected Congressman of the area. As BJP expanded in Tripura, our family joined the party to dislodge the CPIM rule. I hoped that the party would respect my contributions, but I was wrong.”

Meanwhile, local BJP workers are also against party nominee Antara Deb Sarkar as she is being seen as “an outsider”. 

Also read | Tripura polls: BJP names Papia Datta for Agartala Assembly seat

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