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With joining of several leaders, TMC strengthens base in Tripura


With the joining of several leaders West Bengal based Trinamool Congress (TMC) has strengthened its base in Tripura.

The party has started preparation for 2023 assembly polls. TMC has constituted a state committee and an announcement will be made by party’s national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Monday next during his visit to the state.

On Wednesday Congress leaders Subal Bhowmik, Prakash Das, Md. Idrish Mia, Tapan Dutta, Panna Deb, Premtosh Debnath, Bikas Das joined TMC. These leaders in 2019 quitted BJP and joined Congress.

TMC’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien and party’s Lok Sabha member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who is also the TMC’s women wing President reached Agartala.

Derek O’Brien told the media that under the instruction of Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Delhi, the BJP government’s police detained the 23 members of political strategist Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) and placed them under ‘house arrest’ in a hotel in Agartala.

These leaders alleged, “BJP leaders are attacking the opposition leaders since it came to power in 2018.”

A TMC leader, who does not want to be named, told ET, “Already political strategist Prasant Kishore led IPAC is doing the ground work in Tripura. IPAC had earlier worked for TMC prior to this year’s assembly polls in West Bengal.”

He said, “TMC has made elaborate plans and will go all out to contest the next assembly polls. Recently the party made arrangements across the state for viewing the West Bengal Chief minister’s speech virtually.”

Police however denied the IPAC team and said that they were not allowed to move as their RTPCR tests for COVID were done. The police also served notices to the 23 I-PAC members asking them to meet the Officer-in-Charge of the East Agartala Police station on August 1. On Thursday, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of West Tripura following the petition of the I-PAC members granted their bail.

With Mukul Roy back in Trinamool Congress (TMC) from BJP, a move to revive the Bengal based party in Tripura has gained momentum.

TMC’s Tripura state President Ashish Lal Singh told ET, “West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has a huge following in Tripura. We have over the years built a good organisation in the state.”

He added, “After TMC retaining power in West Bengal, the people of Tripura are looking at TMC to provide alternatives. We are having a good number of people joining every day.”

In 2016 TMC leader Mukul Roy was looking after TMC’s affairs in Tripura. He brought at least seven Congress MLAs led by Sudip Roy Barman to TMC. These MLAs later joined BJP and contested the 2018 assembly polls and all of them won.

Roy was made health minister in the BJP led government. He was sacked from the cabinet in May 2019. A group of MLA led by Barman had last year moved BJP leadership complaining about the style of functioning of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

The BJP, along with ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura routed the Left Front in Tripura in 2018. In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP won 36 seats and the IPFT eight, while the CPI-M, secured 16 seats.

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