01 September, Agaratala
In the midst of differences of opinion in the party itself, CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar today made it clear that the Left Front is all set to project fourth term Chief Minister Manik Sarkar as their chief ministerial candidate for the coming Assembly election.
Recently there was a debate over Sarkar’s nomination in the next Assy election after CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri was not allowed by the party to contest in Rajya Sabha from West Bengal because of his two terms in Upper House.
Sarkar became Chief Minister after winning first time in 1998 election from Dhanpur constituency, considered to be the CPI-M stronghold of Marxist stalwart and former home minister Samar Choudhury. He has been in the saddle since then till date for the fourth consecutive term and now appeared to be unparallel in the Left politics in India.
Despite several allegations of shielding corruption, promoting activities of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and failure in ensuring good governance, Sarkar is the only face of the CPI-M Politburo from Tripura. After defeat of the CPI-M in West Bengal in 2011 Assembly election followed by 2016, Sarkar became the sentinel of communism in Indian democratic set-up.
With the blessings of former Chief Minister and Marxist proponent in Tripura Nripen Chakraborty, Sarkar had got a berth in Politburo but afterwards none from Tripura was included in the highest policy-making body of the CPI-M in spite of 25 yrs of uninterrupted rule.
The entire Opposition targeted Sarkar more than his government on each and every occasion, thereby creating a negative impression about him among the tribals and minorities, and even in the party too.
The anti-Manik wave among the commoners and in the administration has added extra mileage to the BJP though they are yet to announce their chief ministerial candidate.