After Sonia replaces state president, Congress deserters in Tripura float new party

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: In BJP-ruled Tripura, a group of Congress deserters floated a new party, the Tripura Democratic Front (TDF).

Eyeing the Assembly elections, due in early 2023, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is focused on consolidating its base in the state by trying to poach leaders of other political parties.

However, this section of Congress deserters – former state president Pijush Kanti Biswas, vice president Tapas Dey, general secretary Tajen Das, Youth Congress state president Pujan Biswas and several others – chose to float the TDF instead of joining the TMC.

Two weeks ago, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had overhauled the party’s Tripura organisation by replacing Pijush Kanti Biswas, a well-known lawyer, with former Minister Birajit Sinha. Five others were appointed as working presidents.

The decision left Biswas and leaders close to him enraged and they deserted the party. One of the newly-appointed working presidents, Purnita Chakma, too joined the TDF. Prof Manik Deb, another Congress working president, is likely to join the TDF soon.

The TDF is likely to have an understanding with a conglomerate of tribal-based parties in the 2023 polls.

Biswas, who had been associated with the Congress for over half a century, said the TDF was floated in the greater interest of the people and the state. He criticised the All India Congress Committee for allegedly failing to read the ground situation.

“There is factionalism in the Congress but the party’s central leadership never tried to address the issue. We found it very difficult to work for the people,” he said.

The seasoned politician Dey, who served the Congress for 60 years, said people who believe in democracy and want the state to progress in all spheres will soon join the TDF.

Earlier, another batch of Congress leaders, led by Subal Bhowmik, had defected to the TMC. Many other Congress leaders are said to be in touch with the TMC.

Led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the TMC has been actively working in Tripura since July this year. Several MPs, ministers and leaders of the party visited the state over the past few months.