Tripura's Congress candidate Pragya Dev Burman's convoy was attacked today near Tulashikhar village. The candidate, an erstwhile royal, was out campaigning for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, when stones were thrown at her convoy. The area is part of the Tripura (East) constituency, where election was postponed in view of the security situation.
A supporter of the ruling IPFT has been arrested for the attack.
Polling for Tripura (East) – one of the two Lok Sabha seats in the tiny hill state -- was expected to be held today. But on Tuesday, the Election commission pushed back the election to April 23.
During the April 11 polls in the Tripura (West) constituency, there was widespread voter intimidation and rigging.
The election officials have taken note of the complaints by Congress candidate Subhal Bhowmick, who alleged booth capture by the BJP in Mohanpur, Bishalgarh, Boxanagar, Dhanpur and many other constituencies.
"I have travelled to different districts and saw videos where activities, which were against the rules of Election Commission of India, were seen," Tripura Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti had said.
Political tension has heightened in Tripura since the state voted BJP and its ally, the IPFT, to power last year after two decades of Left rule. The two parties won 44 of the 60 assembly seats, with the IPFT winning nine seats. The Left had captured 16 seats, and the Congress, none.
In the last Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the CPM had won both seats.
But the BJP and its ally appear out of sync now and have opted against joining hands for the Lok Sabha elections. Among the contentious issues was seat-sharing in the Tripura (East) region.
"We have been requesting the BJP leaders to allow us to contest from Tripura East since it is reserved for tribals," IPFT chief and Revenue minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma, was quoted as saying by news agency IANS. "If the BJP does not do so, we would put up candidates in both the Lok Sabha seats,” he added.
Discussions over seat-sharing arrangements with Congress were similarly fruitless, leaving the IPFT to fight a multi-pronged battle for its seats.
The IPFT and the BJP also disagreed over the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as the regional party felt the Centre was working against the interests of indigenous tribals.
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