AGARTALA, Jan 23 - CPI (M)-led Left Front in Tripura on Tuesday declared its list of candidates for the Assembly elections scheduled to be held on February 18.
However, there was no surprise except the fact that the Front constituents � RSP and CPI � were allotted one seat each along with Forward Block instead of two seats traditionally allotted to the party in the previous elections.
CPI will contest Santir Bazar (ST) seat in South Tripura where sitting Jail Minister Manindra Reang has been re-nominated while the lone seat allotted to RSP is Radhakishorepur where a new candidate Srikanta Datta will contest.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will contest from his home constituency Dhanpur of Sepahijala district as anticipated. From the Banamalipur seat allotted to CPI earlier, CPI (M) candidate and DYFI leader Amal Chakraborty will be the Front�s new candidate while in Badharghat (SC) seat allotted to RSP in the last election, CPI (M)�s Rajya Sabha member and women leader Jharna Das Baidya will contest the polls. Forward Block, as usual, will enter the fray in Town Bardowali constituency where the candidate will be AMC�s Mayor-in-Council Bishwanath Saha.
Among the twelve new candidates, 10 are freshers while two had contested and won elections earlier. As announced by CPI (M) party secretary and Central Committee member Bijan Dhar, the number of women candidates contesting the polls has increased from five to seven. However, the surprise pack of re-nomination is Nirajay Tripura, who is close to 80, in Chhawmanu constituency.
Even though Left Front convener Bijan Dhar did not spell it out, it was clear that the Front has avoided taking any risk, reposing faith in old war-horses rather than new faces.
Dhar said the Front will focus on peace-prosperity-integration during the campaign because these are key factors in taking the State towards development.
To a query, he admitted the BJP has been able to mobilise Congress�s traditional vote bank to its fold but did not name the Front�s main opponent in the coming Assembly elections.