Agartala: The BJP’s poll preparedness for Tripura’s Assembly election, scheduled for February 18, on Sunday suffered a jolt as state vice-president Subal Bhowmik declined to contest from 22 Sonamura constituency, which was allotted to him.
Bhowmik said he did not want to contest from Sonamura, but declined to give any reason. “I am not interested in contesting from anywhere else. But rest assured, I am not contesting from Sonamura,” he said.
The BJP on Saturday released its first list of 44 candidates. The list was approved in a meeting of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC), headed by national president Amit Shah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Union minister and CEC secretary J.P. Nadda among others also attended the meeting.
Asked about his take on the issue, BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar said he was not aware of any objection from the state vice-president. “Bhowmik will contest from Sonamura constituency. The last time I spoke to him, he didn’t give any such indication. I shall talk to him and solve the issue,” he said.
Bhowmik contested and won from Sonamura on Congress ticket in 2008. Since Assembly seats of the state underwent delimitation before the 2013 polls, Sonamura constituency had major changes in its composition. The party formed an alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a regional party demanding a separate state for indigenous communities, in nine seats.
Deodhar said the names of the candidates in those seats could be announced on Monday.