| Mamata Banerjee |
Agartala, Oct. 17: The Opposition Congress in Tripura has been left demoralised after thousands of its members and leaders joined the Trinamul Congress.
Trinamul chief and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to visit Tripura in December to give a fillip to the party’s fortunes in the state.
“We have invited Didi to visit the state and address a rally to flag off our party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. She has agreed to visit but the date and schedule has not yet been finalised yet,” said former Congress MLA and Tripura’s new Trinamul president Surajit Dutta.
Dutta said he and party chairman Ratan Chakraborty had been visiting rural and hilly areas of the state to garner support and had got a “huge response”.
“The Congress here is being reduced to a signboard under the present leadership and the entire rank and file of the party is totally demoralised. They are joining the Trinamul in droves. Our target is to become the main Opposition party in Tripura in a short while,” Dutta said.
Five-time Congress MLA Dutta and former minister Ratan Chakraborty formally joined the Trinamul in July this year, along with their considerable number of supporters.
They also held a series of meetings with Trinamul leaders Mukul Roy, Sabyasachi Dutta and a round of talks with Banerjee in Calcutta.
They also hinted that a number of other senior Congress leaders, including sitting MLAs, might jump ship.
There are reports that former Congress MLA Subal Bhowmik is contemplating joining the Trinamul. Bhowmik had lost the last Assembly polls from Sonamura constituency in Sipahijala district and then floated a new party, the Tripura Gramin Vikash Congress, in February this year.
Sources in the Congress said former leader of Opposition Ratanlal Nath, who was unceremoniously replaced by Sudip Roy Barman by the Congress high command, is also “waiting and watching”.
“If he is convinced that the Trinamul central leadership is serious about strengthening the party here, he may also join the Trinamul ranks. He cannot stomach the humiliating treatment meted out to him by the party high command despite a sterling performance as leader of the Opposition,” a source said.
Trinamul state president Dutta said the state convention of the party would be held in the last week of November with Mukul Roy and Sabyasachi Dutta acting as central observers.