3,500 supporters of BJP-IPFT, CPI(M) join Congress in Tripura
Agartala, April 16 (PTI): More than 3,500 supporters of the ruling BJP-IPFT and the opposition CPI(M) joined the Congress on Tuesday, two days ahead of the second and last phase of Lok Sabha polls in Tripura.
Addressing a press conference, the president of the Tripura Pradesh Congress (TPCC), Pradyot Kishore Dev Burman said, many have joined the Congress today, including Ashok Kumar Baidya, a former Congress MLA from Teliamura constituency in Khowai district.
He had earlier joined the BJP, Burman said, adding, Baidya had resigned from the BJP a month ago.
“Today’s incident proved that the people are fed up with the BJ-IPFT government in one year, he said.
“The BJP-IPFT government is losing its support and that was the reason behind the massive violence and rigging by the BJP during the first phase of elections on April 11,” he said.
Polling was held in West Tripura constituency in the first phase.
The TPCC president also said that he would meet the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti and ask him to ensure free and fair elections during the second phase of elections on Thursday.
The Congress had accused the CEO and the Director General of Tripura Police, Akhil Kumar Shukla, of favouring the ruling party during the first phase of the elections in the state. It had also demanded their resignations.
Former MLA Ashok Baidya, who was also present at the press conference, alleged that he was forced to resign from the BJP because there was no inner party democracy.
“Ashoke Baidya left the BJP earlier. He was not a significant leader. Everybody has the right to go anywhere,” BJP Spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said.
“We only know that the Congress or the CPI(M) cannot field polling agents in the elections because their mass base have eroded,” Bhattacharya said.
No one has joined the Congress from the CPI(M), the Convener of the Left Front, Bijan Dhar, said.
“Rather, many have joined our party from the Congress,” he added.
Altogether 12,61,861 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in 1,645 polling stations on Thursday.