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Congress changes candidates
Growing internal feuds and group clashes have forced the Congress to change its candidates in a Lok Sabha and five assembly constituencies in Tripura.
Former minister and senior party leader Ratan Chakraborty, who was elected twice to the state assembly from the Banamalipur constituency, has opted out from the poll in protest against the party's decision to nominate him for the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency. He wanted to contest from his home constituency. The party has now fielded former chief minister Radhika Ranjan Gupta in West Tripura.
Another senior leader and former revenue minister Maharani Bibhu Kumari Devi also refused to contest the assembly election because of what she called the 'party's unilateral decision' to nominate her in the Matabari constituency.
In the past few days, the Congress has witnessed a series of group clashes. Some of its leaders were manhandled, forcing it to renominate candidates in the Barjal, Banamalipur, Promod Nagar, Teliamura and Matabari assembly seats.
State Congress president Gopal Roy, who was earlier nominated by the All India Congress Committee for the Banamalipur assembly seat, will now contest from Teliamura.
Meanwhile, a large number of dissident Congress leaders have filed their nominations in various assembly constituencies -- for 45 of the 60 seats which the party will contest, 72 Congress nominations have already come in.
The Congress's alliance partner, the Tripura Upajati Juba Samity, will contest 10 seats, while five have been earmarked for the Tripura National Volunteers.
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