Agartala, Dec 6 (IANS) Bickering over sharing of seats among parties in both the ruling Left Front and the opposition in Tripura has erupted ahead of the assembly polls scheduled in February next year.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Forward Bloc and Communist Party of India (CPI) -- all partners of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front -- have announced that they would not accept one seat each allotted to them.
The tribal-dominated Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), an ally of the main opposition Congress has demanded 13 seats while the latter has offered only six.
"Since 1978, when the Left Front government first came to power in Tripura, we had been contesting in two assembly segments. But this time, CPI-M has offered us only one seat," RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharjee told reporters Thursday.
"If CPI-M remains firm on its decision, we will soon discuss the issue in the party and take appropriate decision," he said.
Similarly, the Forward Bloc (FB) and the CPI leaders told reporters separately that they had already informed the CPI-M that they would not accept the offer of one seat each.
CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said that all the Left partners -- RSP, CPI and FB -- were informed well in advance about the seat sharing.
"The situation is tough this time. However, we will give it a thought before the final announcement of the candidates of Left parties," Dhar told IANS Thursday.
After holding six inconclusive meetings with the state Congress leaders here, a four member INPT delegation led by party president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl is now in New Delhi to hold talks with the central leadership of the Congress.
The INPT leaders Wednesday held meetings with Congress general secretary and in-charge of northeastern states Luizinho Faleiro and were trying to meet other central leaders over the seat sharing issue.
"We told Faleiro-ji that the INPT would never accept less than 13 seats in the upcoming assembly polls," INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma told IANS by phone from New Delhi.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the CPI-M has 46 members while the RSP has two and the Communist Party of India one.
Opposition Congress has 10 members in the state assembly and its ally INPT has one.
The assembly polls in the country's lone Left-ruled state are scheduled in February 2013.