Though the BJP candidate’s win is almost certain in the September 22 elections to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Tripura, the main opposition CPI-M would nominate former state Finance and Information Minister Bhanu Lal Saha for the polls.
A top CPI-M leader told IANS that Saha, who also unsuccessfully contested the March 31 Rajya Sabha elections against BJP candidate Manik Saha, now Chief Minister, would be the Left Front nominee once again.
Dental surgeon-turned-politician Manik Saha, who became Chief Minister on May 15, a day after Biplab Kumar Deb resigned, and was elected to the Assembly in the June 23 by-elections, resigned from the Rajya Sabha on July 4, causing the vacancy.
Manik Saha was summoned by the BJP’s central leaders on Sunday to finalise the party’s Rajya Sabha candidate among other issues.
State BJP President Rajib Bhattacharjee told IANS that the party candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections would be declared in a day or two.
The ruling BJP (36) along with its ally — Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (8) — has the strength of 44 in the 60 member house while the opposition CPI-M has 15 MLAs. The lone Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman, according to the party sources, likely to support the CPI-M led Left Front nominee in the RS polls. The Election Commission on Monday issued the statutory notification on Monday for the September 22 elections, and counting of votes would take place on the same day.