Tripura: Left Front announces candidate for Rajya Sabha bye-election

The Left Front in Tripura Wednesday announced former finance minister and MLA Bhanulal Saha as its candidate for the by-election to the state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat on September 22. The seat fell vacant after Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha resigned in July this year to retain his CM post.

Saha, who contested in the Rajya Sabha post earlier this year, secured 15 votes in the state Assembly and lost to Dr Manik Saha who got 33 votes in the 60-member Assembly.

Speaking to reporters at the CPI(M) party headquarters, Left Front convener Narayan Kar said the Left alliance will fight tooth and nail in the Parliament elections, even though BJP has a single majority in the House.

“We shall fight BJP to defeat them. We appeal to all MLAs to defeat BJP’s policies,” Kar told the media.

In an appeal to put up a unified front against the BJP, Kar said, “We appeal to all the parties which have representation in the assembly to come together to give a befitting reply to the BJP.”

Kar further said that BJP does not give proper respect to its allies and said the MLAs of BJP’s tribal ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) are not respected by the saffron camp. He added, “Even BJP MLAs do not get proper respect in the party.”

Reaching out to Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman, Kar asked him to join hands in the fight against BJP. “We are not giving out individual requests, rather we are making a holistic appeal to all non-BJP parties who have representation in the assembly to join hands and put up a unified fight against the BJP which is challenging the Constitution. It’s a collective responsibility,” the Left Front convener said.

While no comment was available from IPFT or Congress over the issue, Kar’s comments come at a significant time, barely months after Congress appealed to all non-BJP parties to form a strategic platform to combat alleged “political violence”.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said his party is confident of victory and isn’t attaching any particular importance to Left Front’s comments. “There is a certain protocol in place for the Rajya Sabha election. Left leaders are well aware of it. They made some comments just to stay in the news,” Bhattacharya said.

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