NEW DELHI: Seeking to challenge the ruling CPI(M) in its bastion, BJP has finalised 51 candidates in the 60-seat Tripura Assembly and has allied with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT). While the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the BJP is likely to endorse the nominees, the saffron outfit will bets on turncoats from other parties liberally, besides youth leaders from within the ranks.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, Assam minister and election in-charge for the state Himanta Biswa Sharma, and other functionaries on Monday zeroed in on 51 nominees who will contest the February 18 polls, sources said. “The list of the names will be submitted to the BJP CEC, which is likely to meet on January 25 in the national capital,” sources added.
“BJP is leaving nine tribal-dominated seats for IPFT, while one of their nominees could contest on the BJP symbol,” sources said. There are 22 tribal-dominated seats in the state.
Even while BJP had been in talks with other tribal outfits, the party decided not to align with them for seat adjustments. BJP has been preparing since August last year for the Tripura polls as part of an overall plan to engage the Left strongly in its bastions, including Kerala.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding a couple of rallies in the state at the peak of the electioneering, while the party will be banking on regional leaders to bolster the chances of the party nominees,” sources said.Shah launched the poll campaign with a rally in the state. BJP is hoping to gain from anti-incumbency against the Manik Sircar government in the state.