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IANS | Agartala | March 12, 2019

The CPI-M-led Left Front in Tripura on Tuesday announced its candidates for the state’s two Lok Sabha seats, renominating sitting MPs Jitendra Chowdhury and Shankar Prasad Datta from the Tripura East and Tripura West constituencies, respectively.

Announcing the names, Left Front Convener Bijan Dhar said the Left parties would not ally with the Congress in the state. The Congress has already ruled out any alliance.

The two Lok Sabha seats are likely to see a tough fight with both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress looking for strong candidates to take on Chowdhury and Datta.

While Chowdhury is the National Convener of the Left-backed Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) and President of Communist Party of India-Marxist’s tribal wing, the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad, Datta is the state General Secretary of CPI-M-affiliated trade union body, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

Chowdhury also served as Tribal Welfare and Forest Minister in the previous Left Front government for over the two decades since 1993. He is the chief whip of the CPI-M in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav will be in Agartala on Wednesday to discuss names of his party candidates.

Both the BJP and the Congress is likely to name candidates in 10 days.

According to BJP sources, Rampada Jamatiya and Atul Debbarma are being seriously considered for the Tripura East seat, and party state General Secretary Pratima Bhowmik and senior journalist Pranab Sarkar are frontrunners for the Tripura West seat.

Congress sources said newly-appointed state unit chief and royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarman and former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman are prominent aspirants for the two Lok Sabha seats.

CPI-M state Secretary Gautam Das said, “we are contesting the Lok Sabha polls to defeat the BJP and form a secular democratic government at the Centre.”

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