'Understanding, Not Alliance': Tripura Warhorse Manik Sarkar Clears Air on Congress Tie-Up, Takes Dig at TMC

 He led Tripura as chief minister for over 20 years and while he may not be in the fray this time, Manik Sarkar says he will fight for his colleagues from the front for the February 16 elections.

In an interview with News18, Sarkar said the main objective is to defeat the BJP for which the Congress and CPI(M) have entered into an “understanding” and not an alliance. He also took potshots at the Trinamool Congress (TMC), saying they had come to the state to help BJP. The veteran leader, however, hinted that doors were open for Tipra Motha, the party in power in Tripura’s Tribal Areas Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

Why are you sitting out of the electoral battle?

I have been contesting since 1979. I was first the chief whip of my party, then became the chief minister for 20 years and Leader of Opposition for five years. I thought we need to create space for newcomers from the younger generation.

Since our state secretary is in the fray, he will be unable to monitor work in the headquarters. To help him, I thought it was important to take on more responsibility, keeping the complicated situation in mind during elections in Tripura.

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