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Tripura: CPI(M) Withdraws From Charilam Election Without Contesting

March 10, 2018 Author: Dushyant Goswami
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The CPI(M) in Tripura today withdrew from the election to Charilam Assembly seat, citing "post-poll violence" in the constituency.

Polling to the Charilam seat was postponed following the death of CPI(M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma, a week before the February 18 elections in the state.

The party had later fielded Palash Debbarma from the seat.

Palash Debbarma was pitted against BJP leader and newly appointed Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarman, who is not a member of the 60-member Tripura Assembly. The Congress has nominated Arjun Debbarma from the seat.

Charilam is slated to go to polls on March 12.

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said the BJP, along with Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), has resorted to "post-poll violence in the constituency".

"The CPI(M) candidate was compelled to stay outside the constituency despite being a permanent resident of the place. He is not in a position to move in the constituency even with security cover. Any election held in such a situation would be nothing but a one-sided exercise," Dhar said.

The CPI(M) had earlier requested the Election Commission to postpone the Charilam poll till "normalcy gets restored" in the area.

"Since our appeal for postponement has not been considered, we have unanimously decided to withdraw from the election," Dhar said.

Reacting to the CPI(M)'s decision, BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar said the Left party was making baseless allegations.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Debashish Modak said the last date for withdrawal of candidature from the Charilam election was February 26.

"The electronic voting machines will have a symbol for them (CPI(M)) and the election process will continue as scheduled," he said.

State BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday became the chief minister of the first BJP government in Tripura, ending the 25-year rule of the Left Front. Jishnu Deb Burman was sworn in as the deputy chief minister along with seven other ministers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had attended the function.

The BJP-IPFT alliance had won the polls with a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. While the BJP had bagged 35 seats, the IPFT won eight out of the 59 seats that went to polls.

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