Citing post-poll violence, CPI(M) withdraws from Charilam election in Tripura

Representative image. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Agartala, Tripura, India Mar 10, 2018, 02.31 PM (IST)

The CPI(M) in Tripura on Saturday withdrew from the election to the Charilam Assembly seat alleging post-poll violence.

Charilam is slated to go to polls on March 12.

CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar alleged that the BJP and the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) had resorted to "post-poll violence in the constituency". He said that the CPI(M)  candidate was compelled to stay outside the constituency and was qas not able to move in the constituency even with a security cover. 

"The CPI(M) candidate was compelled to stay outside the constituency despite being a permanent resident of the place. He is not in a position to move in the constituency even with security cover. Any election held in such a situation would be nothing but a one-sided exercise," Dhar said.

The CPI(M), which had earlier requested the Election Commission to postpone the Charilam poll till "normalcy gets restored" in the area, said since its "appeal for postponement" had not been considered it had decided to withdraw from the election.

"Since our appeal for postponement has not been considered, we have unanimously decided to withdraw from the election," Dhar said.

The BJP state in-charge Sunil Deodhar reacted to the CPI (M) by saying that the Left party was making baseless allegations.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Debashish Modak said the last date for withdrawal of candidature from the Charilam election was February 26.

"The electronic voting machines will have a symbol for them (CPI(M)) and the election process will continue as scheduled," he said.

Polling to the Charilam seat was postponed a week before the February 18 elections following the death of CPI(M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma. 

The party had later fielded Palash Debbarma from the seat.

Palash Debbarma was pitted against BJP leader and newly appointed Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Debbarman, who is not a member of the 60-member Tripura Assembly. The Congress has nominated Arjun Debbarma from the seat.

State BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday became the chief minister of the first BJP government in Tripura, ending the 25-year rule of the Left Front. Jishnu Deb Burman was sworn in as the deputy chief minister along with seven other ministers.

The BJP-IPFT alliance had won the polls with a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. The BJP had bagged 35 seats, while the IPFT won eight of the 59 seats that went to polls.

(With inputs from PTI)