Tripura minister Khagendra Jamatia dead

Agartala, March 2 Tripura Fisheries and Cooperative Minister Khagendra Jamatia died at the AIIMS in New Delhi on Friday following a brief illness. He was 64.

Tripura Assembly Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar said Jamatia was suffering from cancer and the disease was detected few days ago when he was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences earlier this week.

The tribal leader is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

"Jamatia's body would be brought back here on Sunday for funeral," Kar told IANS.

Jamatia, as Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) nominee, was elected to the state assembly six times from Krishnapur (reserved for the tribals) assembly constituency in western Tripura's Khowai district and also seeking re-election from the same constituency in the February 18 polls.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the CPI-M have condoled the death.

A week before the February 18 assembly polls, ruling CPI-M nominee for Charilam (Scheduled Tribe reserve) seat Ramendra Narayan Debbarma died at the Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital here on February 11 following a massive cardiac attack.

The countermanded polls in Charilam Assembly constituency in western Tripura's Sepahijala district will be held on March 12.

The CPI-M had to field Nimal Biswas as its candidate in Khowai seat in western Tripura in place of the party's original candidate and sitting MLA Biswajit Datta after the latter was hospitalised due to serious illness few days before the filling of nomination papers.

The Tripura People's Party (a tribal based party) candidate Harish Reang, contesting for Karbook (reserve for the tribals) assembly constituency, has died here on Saturday.

The 59-year-old tribal leader was suffering from various diseases for some time and he was admitted to Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital in Agartala after the polling. His condition was deteriorated and succumbed to his illness on Saturday night.

Besides the death of three aspirants, an unusually high number of six candidates have fallen ill or suffered injuries during the run-up to the elections. 

They are CPI-M's Biswajit Datta, Jharna Das Baidya, Jhumu Sarkar, Rita Kar Majumder, Forward Bloc's Biswanath Saha and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Surajit Datta.