Tripura Speaker to take action against BJP MLA who joined Trinamool


Tripura Speaker Ratan Chakraborty has initiated action under the anti-defection law against BJP MLA Ashis Das who joined the Trinamool Congress during its rally here on Sunday, officials said on Monday.

Assembly Secretary Bishnu Pada Karmakar said that the Speaker, under the anti-defection law (the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution) would issue a letter to Das to explain his position.

“The letter being issued to the legislator and after getting his reply, the Speaker, through a legal process, would decide the next course of action against Das,” Karmakar told IANS.

Talking to IANS, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tripura chief Manik Saha said that at the moment, the party would not take any action as he has yet to resign from the party before joining the Trinamool.

“I have learnt that the Speaker would take appropriate steps under the anti-defection law. The party is aware about his (Das) activities,” said Saha.

Das, a Scheduled Caste leader and a BJP MLA from the Surma Assembly seat in northern Tripura, on Monday said that the governance in Tripura is worse than British rule.

In a setback to the BJP, Das along with party’s national executive member from West Bengal Rajib Banerjee on Sunday joined the Trinamool during its first major rally in Agartala, addressed by its General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

Rajib Banerjee, a former minister in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet, had defected to the BJP in January this year. After rejoining the Trinamool, he said that it was his mistake to join the BJP, which according to him gave false promises to the people to gain political and electoral mileage.

Meanwhile, Das, while praising Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata earlier this month, had claimed that people in Tripura have been suffering a lot after the BJP-led government came to power.

The 43-year-old BJP legislator, after shaving his head and performing a ‘yagna’ at the Kalighat temple in Kolkata on October 6, said that political anarchy and chaos were prevailing in the BJP-ruled Tripura where people are unhappy with the performance of the state government.

Das and four other BJP MLAs — Sudip Roy Barman, Ashis Kumar Saha, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, and Burba Mohan Tripura – in August held a big gathering in Agartala which was attended by many local BJP leaders and workers.

To plug the rebellion in the organisation and to set the governance right, several central party leaders led by BJP’s North East Zonal Secretary (Organisation), Ajay Jamwal, had rushed to the state several times.

In the presence of the central leaders, three BJP MLAs — Ram Prasad Paul, Sushanta Chowdhury, Bhagaban Chandra Das — were on August 31 inducted into the Tripura cabinet in its first expansion after the BJP-IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) alliance assumed office in March 2018.

The open dissent and internal dispute in the ruling BJP began after Barman, who was holding the Health and Information Technology departments, was sacked from the ministry in May 2019 following differences with the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

The BJP came to power in Tripura on March 9, 2018 after defeating the CPI-M led Left Front for the first time after the Left parties came to power in the northeastern state in 1978 along with West Bengal.