BJP’s Tripura MLAs, party cadres meet central leadership

“If anyone is found indulging in anti-party activities, the party will take action. Ranajay Deb had resigned from the party before the 2018 Assembly elections and his resignation was accepted,”

Agartala, Oct 14: Amid media speculation about dissidence in the BJP’s Tripura unit, party President JP Nadda met four legislators from the state in New Delhi and discussed various issues, party MLA Ram Prasad Paul said on Wednesday.

Paul, a former Tripura BJP Vice-President, said that a 14-member delegation of the state BJP leaders, led by former state President Ranajay Deb, met BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh as well and discussed organisational and state matters.

On the other hand, Tripura BJP’s spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that the state party leadership was not aware of the visit to the national capital. “Anyone can go to Delhi and meet the central leadership.”

“If anyone is found indulging in anti-party activities, the party will take action. Ranajay Deb had resigned from the party before the 2018 Assembly elections and his resignation was accepted,” Bhattacharjee told IANS.

Paul said that Nadda held a one-hour meeting on Tuesday evening with the four Tripura legislators in the presence of BJP national Vice-President Jay Panda and national General Secretary Arun Singh.

“Various affairs of Tripura, including organisational matters, were discussed. We also discussed how to further strengthen the party organisation in Tripura. Our discussions are internal matter of the party; we don’t want to disclose these to the media,” Paul told IANS on phone from Delhi.

He said: “On behalf of Tripura and the party, 11 MLAs (including Sudip Roy Barman) and several state leaders visited Delhi to discuss issues with the central leadership.”

Excluding Barman, the three other MLAs who met Nadda were Sushanta Chowdhury, Ashish Kumar Saha and Parimal Debbarma.

Chowdhury and Saha are very close to Barman, who was removed from the Council of Ministers by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in May last year.

Chowdhury said that their discussions with Nadda were “very fruitful and positive”.

“We discussed administrative and organisational matters and how to strengthen the party organisation in Tripura. We also talked about how to keep the CPI-M away from power and to weaken the Left parties in Tripura,” Chowdhury told IANS on phone from Delhi.

He said: “Neither did we demand anyone’s removal from any post nor wanted anything (for ourselves), but to strengthen the party to ensure a stable pro-people government.”

Local media reports claimed that nine to twelve BJP MLAs led by Sudip Roy Barman had gone to Delhi to “complain against Chief Minister Deb and his non-performance”.

Paul and Chowdhury refused to reveal what all was discussed with the central leadership.

Barman, 54, son of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Samir Ranjan Barman, led seven MLAs to join the BJP in June 2017 from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with scores of party leaders and workers. All seven were elected to the Assembly on Congress tickets but had subsequently switched over to the TMC.

The BJP in alliance with the tribal Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) handed a humiliating defeat to the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front in the 2018 Assembly polls.

In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP won 36 seats and the IPFT eight, while the CPI-M, the dominant party of the Left Front, secured 16 seats.

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