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Tripura Polls 2023: Key Candidates Key Constituencies

First Published: 15th February, 2023 17:46 IST

A total of 259 candidates are in the fray for the Tripura assembly elections, voting for which will take place on February 16

A total of 259 candidates are in the fray for the Tripura assembly elections, voting for which will take place on February 16.

The fate of 55 candidates from BJP, 43 from CPI-M, 42 from TIPRA Motha, 28 from Trinamool Congress (AITC), 13 from Congress (INC), 6 from IPFT (BJP’s ally), one each from CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc, and 58 as Independents, 7 from unrecognised parties would be sealed on Thursday, February 16.

1.  Manik Saha, CM, BJP. Contesting from Town Bordowali

Manik Saha took over as the 11th CM of Tripura on 15 May 2022. The 69-year-old dental surgeon turned politician was a Congressman till 2016 after which he joined BJP.  Before entering politics, Saha was teaching at the Tripura Medical College at Hapania.

Saha has served as Tripura BJP President from 2020 to 2022 and was a Rajya Sabha MP. In June 2022, he was elected as MLA from Town Bordowali. He by 6,104 votes against his nearest rival Asish Kumar Saha of the Congress. Saha won 17,181 votes, while Asish Kumar secured 11,077 votes.

The Tripura CM who had in January this year conducted a surgery for Oral Cystic Lesion of a 10-year-old boy at the Tripura Medical College, has his old opponent from Congress, Asish Kumar Saha, Ananta Banerjee from the Trinamool Congress (AITC), Arnab Roy from the Republican Party of India (A) and two Independent candidates – Shibani Bhowmik and Ramkrishna Debnath as his opponents this time.

2.  Jishnu Dev Barma, Dy CM, BJP. Contesting from Charilam

A royal and a long-time BJP loyalist, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma is contesting from his home-turf, Charilam. In 2018, the year when BJP ended the 25-year long Left rule in Tripura, Dev Varma defeated rivals in his Charilam Assembly seat by the biggest margin of the election. He won from the Charilam constituency with a margin of over 25,000 votes. He received 89% of the 29,753 valid votes polled. He defeated his direct rival Arjun Debbarma of the Congress.

After stints in both the Congress and Trinamool Congress, he joined BJP way back in the 1990s. Dev Varma is the uncle of Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, current head of the royal family of Tripura, former working president of Tripura Congress and the current chairman of the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA). 

Dev Varma, a BA Honours from Kolkata University, also held the key portfolios of Finance, Power and Rural Development in the outgoing government. The BJP heavyweight’s opponents this time are Ashok Deb Barma from the Congress and Subodh Deb Barma of the TIPRA Motha.

3.  Rajib Bhattacharjee, President, Tripura BJP. Contesting from Banamalipur

Rajib Bhattacharjee is the state party chief for the BJP in Tripura and will be contesting from Banamalipur. This seat was won by former Tripura CM, BJP’s Biplab Kumar Deb in 2018. Bhattacharjee was elevated to the post of state party chief after the resignation of Deb.

Bhattacharjee’s opponents are Santanu Saha of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Gopal Chandra Roy of Congress (INC), and two Independents – Brajalal Debnath and Sujata Datta.

4.  Pratima Bhoumik, BJP, Union Minister. Contesting from Dhanpur

Pratima Bhoumik, the Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, will be contesting from her home constituency Dhanpur. Bhoumik is one of the star campaigners in the election. The first woman politician from Tripura to and the second from the Northeast to become a Union Minister, Bhoumik won the West Tripura Lok Sabha seat by securing 5,73,532 votes (51.77 percent of the valid votes polled) defeating her Congress rival Subal Bhowmik by a margin of 3,05,689 votes. She has been a BJP loyalist, never switching parties in a state where party hopping is common.

Her opponents in the Assembly polls this time are Habil Mia from Trinamool Congress (TMC), Amiya Dalal Noatia of TIPRA Motha, Kaushik Chanda of CPI-M, and Independent Rakesh Sukla Das.

Dhapur has been a CPI-M bastion since 1972. Samar Choudhury of CPI-M had won the seat 5 times – 1972, 1977, 1983, 1988, and 1993. After that Former Tripura CM Manik Sarkar won the seat for another 5 terms – 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018. Manik Sarkar is not contesting the elections this time.

Pratima Bhoumik lost to Manik Sarkar in the 2018 Assembly polls. The former CM polled 22,176 votes while Bhoumik polled 16,735 votes.  

5.  Sudip Roy Burman, Senior Cong Leader. Contesting from Agartala

A veteran Tripura Congress leader, Sudip Roy Barman is contesting from his home turf, Agartala for the 6th time. The senior Congress leader had won the Agartala seat five times in a row – 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 (all as a Congress candidate). In 2018 he won the Agartala seat on a BJP ticket. This time he is contesting on a Congress ticket.

In 2016, Roy Barman left the Congress and joined the TMC. He then joined the BJP in 2017 and became the Health Minister in the Biplab Deb government in 2018 but was later removed for anti-party activities. In 2022 he left BJP, resigned as BJP MLA, and joined Congress.

His main opponent is going to be BJP’s Papia Datta. She is BJP’s state general secretary and a prominent leader of BJP’s Mahila Morcha. Others in the fray are Arnab Roy of Republican Party of India – Athawale and two Independent candidates – Malin Deb Barman and Mangal Mia.

6.  Birajit Sinha, Tripura Cong Chief. Contesting from Kailashahar

Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee chief Birajit Sinha will fight the upcoming elections from Kailashahar, a seat that he has won 4 times – 1998, 2002, 2008 and 2013. In 2018 he lost the seat to Moboshar Ali who won the seat as a CPI-M candidate but Ali is contesting the 2023 elections as a BJP candidate. He joined BJP in January 2023.

Birajit Sinha’s main opponent is Moboshor Ali of BJP, the sitting MLA of Kailashahar. The other candidates contesting from Kailashahar are Md. Abdul Matin of TMC and Jahangir Ali of Nationalist Citizens Party of India.

7.  Jitendra Chaudhury

Jitendra Chaudhury is the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). A former Lok Sabha member, this election, Chaudhury will be contesting from the Sabroom constituency.

He won Tripura East in the 2014 General Elections and became Lok Sabha MP. In 2019 he lost to Rebati Tripura of BJP in 2019.

His opponent is Sankar Roy of BJP, the sitting MLA of Sabroom.



Tripura Polls 2023: Key Candidates Key Constituencies

A total of 259 candidates are in the fray for the Tripura assembly elections, voting for which will take place on February 16

15th February 2023