Tripura polls: Barjala braces for fight between deserters of former parties

Barjala (SC) Assembly constituency, which will go to poll along with the rest of the the state on February 14, will witness an interesting fight between two heavy weight leaders who both quit their former parties.

Former speaker of Tripura Assembly and former state committee member of the CPI-M Jitendra Sarkar is fighting on a Congress ticket.

While his rival Jiten Das, a CPI-M candidate, was a former Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee member and general secretary of the INTUC.

Sarkar was a CPI-M member for over three decades and had won from the Teliamura Assembly constituency five times. He held the Speaker's post for ten years. He left CPI-M in 2010 and joined Congress.

Both the contenders are going door-to-door to canvass votes and the entire constituency is decorated with flags and festoons of the rival parties.

The voters also seemed to be curious about the result of the 'interesting' contest.

Most voters lament the neglect of their constituency over the years.

Congress candidate Jitendra Sarkar accused Shankar Datta (CPI-M), who had won from the constituency in the last election by a narrow margin of 598 votes, of doing nothing in terms of development.

"Despite huge funds flow from the Central government no money was spent for development of the constituency," Sarkar said.

Jiten Das of the CPI-M, however, rebutted, saying, "Left Front government and development are synonymous and people of this constituency believe it, so they would certainly vote for me."

He claimed that it was the Left Front which restored peace in the state by crushing the three-year-old insurgency.

"People understand that insurgency was finished due to strong political will of the government," he said.

Barjala was earlier a general constituency, but after delimitation it became a reserved constituency.

Apart from the two contenders, the constituency will also see candidates fielded by the BJP and Samajwadi Party.

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