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Former CM Manik Sarkar is not allowed to compete this time

Edited by: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last updated: January 26, 2023, 12:33 AM IST

Agartala (incl. Jogendranagar, India

The elections in Tripura more or less revolved around the legendary simplicity of former CM Manik Sarkar (L).  (Image: AFP/File)

The elections in Tripura more or less revolved around the legendary simplicity of former CM Manik Sarkar (L). (Image: AFP/File)

This is another in a series of major developments leading up to parliamentary elections, with the left and Congress this time putting aside differences and fighting together

Manik Sarkar, Tripura’s longest-serving prime minister from 1998 to 2018, has decided not to run in the upcoming assembly elections. This is another in a series of major developments leading up to the polls, with the left and Congress this time putting aside differences and fighting together.

The CPI(M) has released its list of candidates and will compete for 43 seats, while Congress has 13, along with one each for the Forward Block and the CPI, as well as an Independent. The list projects 24 new faces, which is nearly 50 percent of CPI-M’s total candidates.

Sarkar, who is known for his simple lifestyle, has withdrawn from the fray and that is significant according to the experts. “He expressed his desire not to contest this election; we also tried to convince him in the morning but he was firm. He has expressed a desire to give full power to all seats rather than stressing one. We gave him due respect and relieved him,” CPI(M) Secretary Jitendra Choudhry told News18.

It was not easy for the CPI(M) to accept Sarkar’s decision, but after several meetings the party finally accepted it. Party sources said Sarkar wanted to pass the baton to the next generation. The polls in the state more or less revolved around the tall leader’s legendary simplicity.

There are 24 new faces on the candidate list of the CPI(M), which strives to appear youth-friendly.

While former West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu retired from running in elections in 2006 at the age of 85, Sarkar is only in his early 70s and appears to be retiring from electoral politics.

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