A day after switching from Congress to the Trinamool Congress in Tripura, senior leader Sudip Roy Barman hit out at the Congress’s central leadership claiming that there was a “disconnect” between the high command and the state leaders. Barman, a former Leader of the Opposition, had left Congress Tuesday along with five MLAs.
Barman said that the Congress high command was only bothered about returning to power at the Centre and was not concerned about the state units.
Talking to The Indian Express, Barman said he was forced to leave the party because the central leadership had turned a “deaf ear” to the pleas of leaders like him against aligning with the Left in West Bengal for the Assembly elections.
“We are fighting the CPM here. But nobody listened to us. Nobody discussed with us even after we raised concerns. The Congress central leadership it seemed wants the CPM to win in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura as the Communists will anyway back the Congress at the national level,” Barman said.
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While Barman stopped short of attacking either Congress president Sonia Gandhi or vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying he will not say anything against them, he accused the high command as a whole of being least interested in supporting the Congress unit in Tripura.
“You would not believe during the last Assembly elections, campaign meetings to be addressed by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi were cancelled at the last minute. And it was (CPM leader) Sitaram Yechury who announced it. He told a workers meeting that they will not come…We came to know about it later. This is the state of affairs in the Congress,” he said.
Asked if the Congress president or the vice president spoke to him after he opposed the alliance with the Left in Bengal, Barman said no one reached out to him.
On whether V Narayanasamy, the then AICC general secretary spoke to him, he said the Congress was facing a crisis in the several Northeastern states because of Narayanasamy.
“He played a dubious role. He is the black sheep in the Congress. I do not want to elaborate,” he said.
“What is the high command for? For appointing two PCC presidents in five years and giving money to candidates during elections? Does the Congress high command has a strategy to deal with states. There should be a separate strategy for Tripura, Bengal and Kerala where the main opponent is the CPM. There should be a separate strategy for the Hindi-speaking states where the Congress’s political enemy is the BJP. There has to a special strategy for the South Indian states…but is there any such strategy?” he asked.
Barman said Congress in Tripura got 46 per cent of the votes “because of people like us”, adding that the party did not have such a vote share even in states ruled by it like Karnataka. “Now you wait and see what will be the Congress vote share in the next elections and what will be the vote share of the TMC…The Congress high command should keep a track,” he said.