The BJP on Saturday night announced its decision to contest 51 of the 60 Assembly seats in Tripura, leaving nine seats for its new partner, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT).
Tripura goes to polls on February 18. The results for the same will be declared on March 3.
Announcing the names of BJP candidates, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said the party has decided to concentrate on the state as it has been under the Left Front's rule since 1993, the last 20 years under Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Asked about the IPFT's contentious demand of carving out a state of Tipraland out of Tripura's tribal areas, Assam minister and Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma said the BJP would address only the socio-economic, cultural and linguistic issues of tribals in the state.
"The BJP and IPFT would issue a joint statement on January 28 which will explain for itself. We forcefully stand for a united Tripura," he asserted.
The BJP is counting on a split in the votes of tribals to cause a setback for the CPM in Tripura.
In the last three elections, the CPM)got 49, 46 and 38 seats, respectively in the 60-member Assembly. The Congress has been a close runner-up each time.