Updated: March 6, 2021 8:57:51 pm
Four days after Tripura announced general elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) to be held on April 4, opposition CPI(M) today declared its candidate list for the tribal autonomous council with over half new candidates.
Addressing a press conference in Agartala this evening, state Left Front convener Bijan Dhar said 17 new candidates were announced today, replacing few heavyweight leaders including former ADC chairperson Ranjit Debbarma. The new candidates include four women candidates as well.
“Our candidates were chosen based on performance in their previous terms, on how they fared as people’s representatives in the past. They are qualified; most of them are below 59 years of age and have leftist mentality”, Dhar said.
The Left Front is the first to announce their candidate list this year, keeping up their tradition from previous elections, sharing the seats among Left allies with 25 for the CPI(M), and one seat each for Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and CPI.
“It was proven several times in the past that development is impossible to be ushered in the district council without Left Front. We shall contest the polls for working in the interest of people”, the Left Front convener said.
In a sharp criticism of Tripura’s ruling ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), Dhar said the party secured the reins of ADC in 2000 with the support of guns and insurgents.
“Democracy and the ADC were looted in those five years”, he said and appealed electors to cast mandate against “all evil forces” in the tribal council polls. “Our key issues in poll campaign for the district council will be restoration of democracy, good governance, ensuring human rights and fulfilling people’s needs”, he said.
Earlier on March 2, State Election Commissioner Manik Lal Dey announced notification for the district council polls to be held on March 4.
Candidates can submit their nominations till March 12. The nomination papers would be scrutinized on March 15 and can be last withdrawn on March 17, he said.
As per the election schedule, the polling would be held from 7 a, till 4 pm on April 4, the State Election Commissioner said adding that repolls, if any, would be held on April 7 while votes cast during the poll process would be counted on April 8.
Model code of conduct was imposed with immediate effect today after the announcement.
As per the declared schedule, polling would be conducted across 1,244 polling stations spread across 28 seats of the district council.
Tribals, who constitute one third of Tripura’s 37 lakh population, are from 18 tribal communities. Most of them live in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which is spread across 7,132.56 square km and covers nearly 68 per cent of the state’s geographical area.
Formed on January 18 of 1982, the TTAADC covers 68 per cent of the total area of Tripura.
The tribal council’s charge was later assumed by the gubernatorial head as per a decision of the state cabinet till the next election. The tenure was later extended for another six months.
On January 12, the state government, in an affidavit, stated before the Tripura High Court that they would conduct TTAADC polls within May 17 this year.
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