Agartala, Feb 11 (IANS) A week ahead of the February 18 Assembly elections, a sitting CPI-M MLA and candidate in Charilam in western Tripura died on Sunday evening due to cardiac arrest, an official said here.
"The sitting MLA and Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate for Charilam (Scheduled Tribe) seat, Ramendra Narayan Debbarma, died at the Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital, where he was admitted in the afternoon with chest pain," an Election Department official said.
The official said the election in Charilam would be countermanded as per electoral laws. There were five candidates, including Debbarma, in the fray.
Debbarma, 68, after his retirement from government service in 2012, had contested the 2013 assembly polls from Charilam in western Tripura and won. The CPI-M renominated him this time.
CPI-M State Secretary Bijan Dhar expressed shock over the death.
The CPI-M-led Left Front has fielded Nimal Biswas as its candidate in Khowai seat in western Tripura in place of Biswajit Datta, who was hospitalised for a few days due to serious illness.
Biswas is a former State Secretary of the CPI-M's student wing Student Federation of India.
CPI-M candidate for Krishnapur (ST) and Fisheries Minister Khagendra Jamatia too remained admitted in GBP Medical College and Hospital for several days due to illness.
Polling will be held for the 60-seat Tripura assembly on February 18 and counting of votes will be on March 3.