Agartala, Dec. 13: Sitting MLA and former PCC president Gopal Roy rushed to Delhi last night to retain his constituency, Banamalipur (No-9) in Agartala town and save it from being grabbed by incumbent PCC president Sudip Roy Barman.
Roy had been alerted about Sudip’s gameplan to contest this time from Banamalipur by AICC general secretary and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Falerio.
Roy went to Delhi yesterday to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and sources said he had spoken to Falerio and will meet Sonia to apprise her of the situation. “AICC secretary in-charge-of Tripura, K. Jaykumar, who was heckled by Roy Barman’s followers early this year in Khowai district, met Rahul Gandhi yesterday and brought to his notice the happenings in Tripura,” a source said.
Roy Barman has been contesting the Assembly elections from Agartala (No-6) seat since 1993 and barring the first time he has won three consecutive elections in 1998,1993 and 2008. Sources said post-delimitation Roy Barman is not confident of retaining the seat in the upcoming Assembly elections and is trying to switch over to Banamalipur, a safe seat for Congress.
“He has had recourse to a clever strategy; he has prevailed upon the state Youth Congress president Sushanta Chowdhury to address a letter to Falerio demanding allotment of five seats to Youth Congress, promising to allot his own constituency, Agartala (No-6). Besides, he has also persuaded leader of Karmachari Federation Samar Roy to address a separate letter to Falerio demanding allotment of the Agartala (No-6) constituency to his organisation citing the ground that the constituency is dominated by government employees,” sources close to Gopal Roy said. Roy Barman is trying to persuade the AICC to concede seats to Youth Congress president and president of the Karmachari Federation and in a clever show of magnanimity will concede his longstanding seat of Agartala (No-6) so that the AICC is forced to allot him his coveted Banamalipur constituency by shunting the sitting MLA Gopal Roy out to Teliamura, sources added.
“Everybody has seen through the game plan now and apart from Gopal Roy who is meeting madam Gandhi in a day or two, a group of senior Congress leaders will file a detailed memorandum to the AICC president demanding not only removal of Roy Barman from the post of PCC president but also of Luizinho Falerio from the post of general secretary in-charge-of Tripura,” said former MLA and Congress leader Tapas De.
“Falerio has many problems, he cannot speak any language other than English and Goanese; his speeches in English fall flat on the common people and Congressmen in Tripura; he has absolutely no experience of fighting CPM and its politics and moreover, his integrity and fairness are in question, so he is a burden for us; moreover he does not visit the state as often as he should,” said De.