Seat-sharing negotiations between the parties still underway.
NEW DELHI: Like what was witnessed during the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, this time around, the CPM and the Congress has forged an electoral alliance for the upcoming Assembly elections in Tripura, with seat-sharing negotiations between the parties still underway.
According to sources, the Congress and CPM would likely enter into a seat-sharing arrangement where the Congress would be contesting in over 20 to 25 seats with the CPM contesting in about 30 to 35 seats, with about five seats going to other smaller alliance partners in this scheme of electoral understanding.
However, both the parties have officially refrained from giving the exact number of seats the two would be contesting in an alliance in the 60-member Assembly of Tripura which will be electing its new Chief Minister on 16 February. Sources in the Congress told The Sunday Guardian that the Congress would be demanding at least 20 seats for the party and they believe that the Congress has grown stronger in the region after the arrival of Sudip Roy Barman from the BJP to the Congress last year.
The Congress had drawn a blank in the 2018 Assembly elections in Tripura, while the CPM bagged 16 of the 57 seats contested.
The BJP for the first time came to power in Tripura in 2018 by winning 36 of the 60 seats in the state. A small committee of leaders from both the Congress and the CPM has been formed in Tripura who would be responsible for identifying the seats from which the CPM and the Congress would be set up their candidates. This, according to sources, has been formed with leaders from both the parties to ensure that the process remains smooth and free of controversy and is done with consensus.
Remember, the Congress and the CPM had also forged an alliance ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in Bengal, hoping to stop the Trinamool Congress from winning in Bengal for the second time. However, the alliance could not yield much result and the CPM post the elections had blamed the Congress for the poor performance of the CPM as the Congress was unable to transfer their votes to the CPM while the CPM had successfully transferred their votes to the Congress.
The Congress and the CPM alliance have also reached out to TIPRA Motha chief also a member of the royal family of Tripura, Pradyut Manikya Debbarma for coming into the CPM-Congress alliance fold; however, Manikya has declined to be part of this alliance and had also earlier told The Sunday Guardian that the TIPRA Motha would only be part of any alliance that would give them assurance in writing about a separate “Tipraland”.
However, according to sources, the TIPRA Motha chief has met Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier last week and speculation is rife with the BJP striking a deal with Manikya, while the CPM and the Congress alliance are keen to get Manikya into this alliance owing to the fact that Manikya and his TIPRA Motha has over the last three years made solid base amongst the 20 tribal seats in Tripura and according to estimates this party could bag around 15 of them in the upcoming assembly elections.
But according to sources, the CPM and Congress alliance have only agreed to give around 12 seats to the TIPRA Motha if it decides to join hands with them. The election for Tripura was declared on Wednesday where the 60 seats of the Tripura Assembly will go to polls on 16 February, results for which will be declared on 2 March.