Guwahati: In BJP-ruled Tripura, a group of Congress quitters formed a new party, the Tripura Democratic Front (TDF).
With an eye on the assembly elections due in early 2023, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is focused on consolidating its base in the state by trying to take on leaders of other political parties.
However, this section of Congress quitters – former state president Piyush Kanti Biswas, vice president Tapas Dey, general secretary Tejen Das, Youth Congress state president Pujan Biswas and many others – opted to form TDF instead of joining TMC.
Two weeks ago, Congress President Sonia Gandhi along with former minister Birjit Sinha changed the party’s Tripura outfit, replacing Piyush Kanti Biswas, a noted lawyer. Five others were appointed as working presidents.
This decision angered Biswas and his close leaders and he left the party. Purnita Chakma, one of the newly appointed working presidents, also joined the TDF. Another working president of Congress, Prof Manik Deb, is likely to join the TDF soon.
The TDF is likely to strike an agreement with a group of tribal-based parties in the 2023 elections.
Biswas, who was associated with the Congress for more than half a century, said the TDF was created in the interest of the people and the state. He criticized the All India Congress Committee for allegedly failing to read the ground situation.
“There is factionalism in the Congress but the central leadership of the party never tried to resolve the issue. We found it very difficult to work for people,” he said.
Dey, a veteran politician who has served the Congress for 60 years, said those who believe in democracy and want the state to progress in all fields, will soon join the TDF.
Earlier, another batch of Congress leaders led by Subal Bhowmik had joined the TMC. Many more Congress leaders are said to be in touch with TMC.
TMC under the leadership of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been actively working in Tripura since July this year. Several MPs, ministers and leaders of the party have visited the state in the last few months.