Tripura: Senior TMC leader, supporters quit party, join Congress

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) unit in Tripura suffered a major setback Sunday with a section of its workers led by senior TMC leader Baptu Chakraborty quitting the party and joining the Congress. The development came just months ahead of the next Assembly polls in the north-eastern state.

Speaking to reporters in Agartala, Baptu Chakraborty, who joined the TMC in September last year, said he decided to quit the Mamata Banerjee-led party as it was working in the interests of the BJP.

“The TMC says the party is against the BJP but it proved several times that it is indirectly supporting the saffron party. It also boycotted the Opposition candidate in the vice-presidential election,” he said.

Explaining his decision to return to the Congress, Chakraborty said the party led by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi was the largest platform opposing the BJP. He added that he has joined the Congress with the goal of removing the BJP from power in the state in 2023.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader and in-charge of Tripura Szarita Laitphlang said over 2,517 people from different parties, including the TMC, the CPI(M) and the BJP, joined the Congress Sunday. Laitphlang further said the Congress was the only force capable of putting up a tough fight against the BJP in Tripura.

She also trained guns at the BJP-led government at the Centre and claimed that the Union government was targeting Congress leaders by misusing investigating agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI.

“These attacks are perpetrated since the Congress is speaking on genuine issues like unemployment, inflation and deteriorating health of the economy,” she said.

Senior Congress leaders including former minister Sudip Roy Barman, former MLAs Ashish Kumar Saha and Gopal Chandra Roy, among others, participated in the worker joining programme held on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Late Sachindra Lal Singh, the first chief minister of Tripura, at Rajiv Bhawan in Agartala.

Those who joined the Congress mostly came from Agartala city and its suburbs like Khayerpur, Barjala, Bardowali and Pratapghar.

Sudip Roy Barman said many political parties like the TMC and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were pretending to oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi but, in reality, were acting as the ‘B-teams’ of the ruling party.