The Assam Tribune
Prabir Sil

AGARTALA, Feb 4 – About 88 per cent of the contesting candidates of Tripura Assembly have not filed their IT return, according to a report by National Election Watch (NEW), Tripura chapter.

The ruling CPM has more ‘defaulters’ with 51 contesting candidates not filing IT return out of the total 55 nominees. Besides, as many as 29 CPM candidates did not submit their PAN cards.

According to the report, the Election Commission has not received PAN cards from 127candidates of the total 249 contesting candidates.

Interestingly, nine candidates having assets worth Rs 40 lakh have not deposited their PAN cards at the time of filing of nomination though it was not mandatory. The defaulters include Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury himself.

The report says assets of five CPM legislators– Sobudh Das (8988 pc), Keshab Debbarma (5945 pc), Aghore Debbarma (5397 pc), Narayan Chowdhury (1806 pc) and Niranjoy Tripura (1675 pc) have increased abruptly over the past few years.

As many as 16 crorepati candidates, mostly from Indian National Congress (INC) are in the fray, said BB Senapati, NEW, Tripura chapter president here today. Of the crorepaticandidates, 12 are from INC while two are Independent candidates and one from ruling CPM. INC candidate for Matabari Assembly constituency – Biplab Ghosh leads the crorepati list with assets of Rs 9.29 crore.

The only crorepati candidate from CPM is Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Chowdhury who also has liabilities of Rs 28.24 lakh. Babul Banik, a SUCI nominee for newly floated Suryamaninagar constituency has declared zero asset.

Senapati further said only 24 contesting candidates of the total 249 have bachelor ormaster degrees while 41 candidates could not even cross class VIII standard. There are 14 candidates who have not even passed the hurdle of Class V standard.

He further said criminal cases are pending against 12 contesting candidates and one INC candidate – Chandi Charan Tripura is facing corruption charges.

This time, the number of women candidates has dwindled to six per cent from nine per cent, according to the report. Though political parties have been hitting the streets for women reservation bill, out of total 249 candidates, only 15 women candidates are in the fray this time.

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