New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday announced its first list of 48 candidates for the Tripura Assembly polls, fielding Chief Minister Manik Saha from Town Bordowali and Union minister Pratima Bhoumik from Dhanpur again.
Party leaders Anil Baluni and Sambit Patra named the candidates at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here.
Patra said the party will soon announce its candidates for the remaining seats. The state assembly has 60 seats.
Bhoumik was a first-time MP and was elected from the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency. She was the first person hailing from the state to become a central minister.
In 2018, she had lost the election in Dhanpur assembly seat against the then Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Saha, who replaced Biplab Kumar Deb as chief minister, had won the by-election from Town Bardowali in June last year. Deb was elected to Rajya Sabha in September last year.
Out of the total seats announced, the party has fielded female candidates on 11 seats, nearly 25 per cent.
In the last assembly polls in 2018, the BJP for the time had formed a government in Tripura, demolishing a Left bastion. The CPI(M) ruled the state for 25 years.
The party had fought the election in alliance with IPFT, a regional tribal party that contested 10 seats.
The remaining 12 constituencies for which candidates are to be announced are mostly tribal seats.
The BJP top brass was in talks with TIPRA, a regional party founded by former Congress leader and royal scion Pradyot Deb Barman, for a pre-poll alliance, which has now been ruled out.
The CPI(M) is contesting the state elections in alliance with the Congress this time.