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Former Tripura CM Barman to contest assembly polls as Independent


IANS Agartala
Suprising political circles, former Tripura Chief Minister and state Congress chief Samir Ranjan Barman on Wednesday filed his nomination paper as an independent candidate from Bishalgarh assembly constituency.
"To defeat the ruling CPI-M, I can forge alliance with even Taliban fundamentalists," Barman, 75, told the media after submitting his candidature at the Bishalgarh Sub-Divisional Magistrate's office under Sepahijala district in western Tripura.
The Congress had expelled the veteran leader for six years last April for "anti-party activities" as he had shared the dais with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during a rally here.
Barman's son Sudip Roy Barman along with six other Congress MLAs accompanied by thousands of party members, activists and leaders joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year.
Barman, who was Chief Minister from February 1992 to March 1993 and state party chief for three years, was the Leader of Opposition in the assembly from 1993 to 1998.
He had contested from Bishalgarh constituency in 9 assembly elections consecutively from 1972 to 2013, winning five times -- in 1972, 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003.
Congress termed his filling of nominations as "bargaining politics".
"Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders offering various posts and inducement are trying to grasp some Congress leaders.This is creating a confusion but people would understand the BJP's narrow politics," party's state Vice President Tapas Dey told the media.
He said that Barman earlier had approached the BJP's central leaders to appoint him as Lt Governor or Governor.
In another surprise development, BJP leaders on Tuesday night held a closed-door meeting with Congress's state unit Working President and former royal family scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman at the latter's palace here.
After meeting with Assam Minister and BJP incharge of Tripura elections Himanta Biswa Sarma and party's central observer Sunil Deodhar, Deb Burman told the media that it was a "courtesy call and nothing political".
However, Sarma, in his presence, told the media that they want to see Deb Burman in the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, BJP state President Biplab Kumar Deb, carrying door-to-door campaining in Banamalipur constituency, visited Congress legislator Gopal Roy's residence on Tuesday night.
Roy is also contesting the elections from the same Banamalipur constituency here.
Elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly will be held on February 18.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 9:16 PM IST

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