Tripura Speaker to decide on six Congress defectors in 10-12 days

Agartala, June 8 (IANS) Tripura assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath on Wednesday said he will decide within 10-12 days the issue of six Congress legislators who have joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

“Four Congress MLAs met me on Tuesday and submitted a letter with their signatures as well as those of two others. They said they have joined the Trinamool Congress and demanded recognition as the main opposition party,” Debnath told IANS here.

He said: “I will call the six MLAs for individual hearing and verification of their signatures. After consulting the rules and experts, I will take a final decision within 10-12 days.”

Besides suspended Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman, other Congress legislators who are said to have signed the letter are Ashish Saha, Biswabandhu Sen, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Pranjit Singha Roy and Dilip Sarkar.

Pranjit Singha Roy is out of Tripura while an ailing Dilip Sarkar was not present when Roy Barman handed over the letter to the Speaker.

TMC’s Tripura unit president Ratan Chakraborty, a minister in the Congress-led state government during 1988-1993, warned that if the Speaker did not recognise his party as the main opposition party in the assembly and the six rebel Congress legislators as TMC legislators, they will seek the governor’s intervention.

A TMC delegation met Governor Tathagata Roy on Tuesday night and apprised him of the political development in Tripura.

Roy Barman along with other party leaders resigned from the Congress to protest the party’s electoral alliance with Left parties in West Bengal.

On Monday, another Congress legislator, Jitendra Sarkar, resigned from the Tripura assembly and said he would rejoin the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist.

With these resignations, the Congress’ strength in the Tripura assembly has been reduced to the lowest ever three from 10 in the 60-member House. The ruling CPI-M-led Left Front has 50 lawmakers.

Meanwhile, AICC secretary Bhupen Bora, who was sent by the Congress central leadership on Tuesday to deal with the latest crisis, on Wednesday maintained that the internal disputes were a temporary setback for the party.

“The Congress is not dependent on any single person. The party will regain its strength in the next assembly elections.”



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