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AGARTALA | June 28, 2019 (IANS):

Hours after the announcement of the July 27 Gram Panchayat elections, political parties in Tripura begun announcing their candidates and started campaigning on Thursday.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, announced it would not forge any alliance in the local bodies’ elections with their junior partner Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT).

The BJP and opposition parties – Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front and the Congress – also announced to field candidates in all the 6,646 seats in three tiers — gram panchayats (6,111 seats), panchayat samitis (419) and zilla parishads (116).

Senior BJP leader and State Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that over 60 per cent of their candidates are women, educated persons and social activists.

“A large number of BJP candidates in the panchayat elections would belong to Muslims and other backward communities,” Nath said.

Various district and sub-divisional committees of BJP from Thursday started announcing their candidates.

“There would not be any alliance in the elections with the IPFT. The IPFT can field their candidates in the panchayat polls,” said Nath, who is also the Chairman of the BJP election committee.

Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar said their candidates would soon started submitting nominations in all the three tiers of gram-panchayats.

Tripura Pradesh Congress Vice-President Tapas Dey said that their candidates would start filling nomination papers from Saturday

“We would not disclose anything now whether Congress and CPI-M would field their candidates jointly in the panchayat elections,” Dey told IANS.

The Tripura Election Commission here on Wednesday announced elections to 591 gram panchayats, 35 panchayat samitis and eight zilla parishads.

According to the election schedule, the filing of nominations would start on Monday.

The last date of withdrawal of candidatures is July 11. Counting of votes will take place on July 31.

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