The BJP on Saturday announced the names of its 54 candidates for the February 16 Tripura Assembly polls, fielding Chief Minister Manik Saha from Town Bordowali and Union minister Pratima Bhoumik from Dhanpur again.
Party leaders Anil Baluni and Sambit Patra named 48 candidates at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here and another list of six more was released later. The seats included some where the party's ally and tribal outfit Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) had contested last time.
In Agartala, Chief Minister Manik Saha announced the seat-sharing deal with IPFT which has been allocated five constituencies, four less than what it got in the 2018 polls.
Saha told a press conference that the BJP will contest in 55 constituencies.
The IPF's power has considerably waned with the rise of TIPRA Motha - a regional party founded by former Congress leader and royal scion Pradyot Deb Barman.
The BJP had reached out to the TIPRA leadership for a tie-up but the regional party's insistence that the Centre agree to its demand for a separate state for the indigenous population ruled it out.
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The state assembly has 60 seats.
Bhoumik was a first-time MP and was elected from the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency. She was the first person hailing from the state to become a central minister.
In 2018, she had lost the election in Dhanpur assembly seat against the then Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Saha, who replaced Biplab Kumar Deb as chief minister, had won the by-election from Town Bardowali in June last year. Deb was elected to Rajya Sabha in September last year.
In the last assembly polls in 2018, the BJP for the time had formed a government in Tripura, demolishing a Left bastion. The CPI(M) ruled the state for 25 years.
The CPI(M) is contesting the state elections in alliance with the Congress this time.
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