The elections to the 60-member state assembly are scheduled to be held on Sunday.
Manik Sarkar is among key political figures in Tripura, which has been ruled by the Left Front since 1978 with a five-year break between 1988 and 1993, when the Congress and its tribal party ally Tripura Upajati Juba Samity were in power.
In the election fray since 1981, Mr Sarkar has been elected to the state assembly six times -- 1981 (by-polls), 1983, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 -- and is seeking re-election for the fifth consecutive time.
Mr Sarkar, who has been running the government in the northeastern state for 20 years now, has just around Rs 2,500 in his bank account. The 69-year-old Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Politburo member donates his entire salary to the CPI(M), which pays him back a sum of 5,000 rupees as subsistence stipend.
He joined politics in 1967 as a youth leader. Communist party of India (CPM) was then the Opposition party in the state and Manik Sarkar participated in the food movement organized by the CPM. He joined the CPM in 1968.
In 2013, the Tripura assembly elections saw Communist Party of India (Marxist) retain control for the fifth consecutive term, making Manik Sarkar the chief minister of Tripura for the fourth consecutive time.