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Former TMC chief in Tripura, other leaders join BJP

IANS | Agartala |

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) Tripura unit's founder Chairman and incumbent Vice-President Arun Chandra Bhowmik and other leaders have joined the BJP, the BJP said on Saturday.

"At a public rally in Belonia (in southern Tripura) on Friday, TMC leaders Arun Chandra Bhowmik, Arjun Sarkar and Badal Sarkar along with 720 voters of other parties joined the BJP," BJP's Tripura unit media-in-charge Victor Shom said in a press release.

He said that local Congress leader Rajeswar Sen also joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Bhowmik, a veteran lawyer, said only the BJP can oust the ruling Left Front from power in the state assembly elections due in February next year.

Several TMC and Congress leaders besides scores of party workers had earlier joined the BJP.

State BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb, who addressed a public rally in Belonia, said his party would contest the assembly elections alone and field candidates in all 60 assembly seats.

"We have engaged a private agency to study about the prospective candidates for next year's elections. We would put up those people as BJP candidates who would have the maximum chance of winning. No favouritism would be done in selecting the best candidates," Deb told reporters.

The BJP has given utmost emphasis to defeat the ruling Left Front in Tripura.

"To strengthen the BJP's political base in Left-ruled Tripura, over 45 central Ministers and many central BJP leaders have visited the state during the past three years. Besides scores of BJP MPs, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance, Health and Family Welfare and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and several other Ministers of Assam campaigned for the party in the state (Tripura)," a BJP leader said.

Sarma, who is also convener of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has been holding talks with several tribal parties in Tripura to support the party in the assembly elections next year, he said.