Tripura Congress leader forms new party


Agartala : Tripura’s dissident Congress leader Subal Bhowmik Wednesday launched a new party and blamed the central and state party leaders for the Congress’ humiliating defeat in the Feb 14 assembly polls.

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“The state and central Congress leadership in league with the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) helped the Left Front retain power in the recent polls for the fifth time,” Bhowmik, a state Congress general secretary, told reporters after the day-long first state conference of his new party, the Tripura Pragatishil Gramin Congress (TPGC).

“With the present leadership at the helm of affairs of the state party, the Congress would not come to power in Tripura in the next hundred years,” he said, claiming that many Congress leaders would join the TPGC.

Bhowmik, 51, said that he sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi April 1, saying that there was no discipline in the party and the state leadership was incompetent.

Bhowmik lost the Feb 14 assembly election from the Sonamura constituency. The Congress won only 10 seats in the 60-member house.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front retained power for the fifth time in the state, gaining 50 seats.It was the seventh time the Left Front has won power in Triura.

Tribal leader Sebika Reang also recently resigned from the party and joined the ruling CPI(M).

Reang, who was replaced by another candidate just before the polls, blamed state party chief Sudip Roy Barman and state leader Ratan Lal Nath – besides some members of the party’s central leadership – for the Congress’ recent electoral drubbing.

Former opposition leader and ex-minister Jawahar Saha last month blamed the state leadership for the crushing failure of the Congress in the polls.

Saha flayed Barman and Nath, saying their “treachery” led to the party’s electoral rout.

“The duo (Barman and Nath) sold the Congress to the Left parties in exchange for cash and other benefits,” Saha claimed.

He said “unworthy people” were fielded as candidates by the Congress in the elections.