A day after Moboshar Ali, the CPM MLA in Tripura, switched loyalties and filed his nomination as a candidate of the ruling BJP, the CPM has objected to his candidature. Its reasoning: Neither has he resigned as the party's MLA no has the party expelled him.
Jitendra Chowdhury, state unit secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, on Tuesday wrote to the poll officer of Kailashahar constituency, from where Mr Ali was elected on a CPM ticket last time but is now set to be the BJP candidate.
"Being a member of the Tripura Legislative Assembly sponsored by the CPI(M), unless he resigns from the Assembly, or he is expelled by the party, he may not be accepted as a member of any other party or an independent candidate... A member of CPI(M) as a sitting MLA in the Assembly simultaneously may not be a Member of BJP as stated in his nomination filed before you," read Jitendra Chowdhury's letter.
Tripura will vote on February 16 and the counting is to be held on March 2.
The CPM leader's letter specifically points towards a technicality: "In Para 3 of Form ‘B' of Symbol Allotment, there is a statutory declaration of the authorized signatory of the party symbol certifying that, 'the candidate whose name is mentioned above is a member of this political party and his name is duly borne on the rolls of members of this party'. As [Moboshar Ali] neither resigned from the house of Assembly, nor from the CPI(M), in no circumstances, he may be treated as a candidate sponsored by BJP. Hence he may be disqualified for being a BJP candidate for want of statutory legal requirement."
Moboshar Ali had joined the BJP on Friday in New Delhi and was later named on the list of BJP candidates.
The BJP came to power in the state for the first time in 2018 after defeating the CPM that ruled the state for 25 years continuously.
On the CPM's contention for his disqualification, Mr Ali, the BJP and the poll officer have not reacted yet.