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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Congress names Birajit Sinha as Tripura unit’s president

Md Billal Miah, a former minister, Professor Manik Deb, Sushanta Chakraborty, Purnita Chakma and Pradeep Bardhan were named as working presidents.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
September 24, 2021 9:20:03 pm
Birajit Sinha addresses a press conference in Agartala. (Source: Express photo/File)

With barely one-and-half-year left for the Tripura Assembly election, Congress Friday changed its state president and named former MLA Birajit Sinha for the top post. Sinha replaced senior advocate Pijush Kanti Biswas, who assumed the post in December last year.

The move comes weeks after Biswas offered to tender resignation from his post, alleging non-cooperation from party colleagues. However, his resignation was later held after intervention from All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) Tripura in-charge Dr Ajay Kumar.

A press statement issued by AICC general secretary K C Venugopal Friday said Sinha has been appointed as the new Congress state chief with Md Billal Miah, a former minister, Professor Manik Deb, Sushanta Chakraborty, Purnita Chakma and Pradeep Bardhan as working presidents.

Apart from noting that Congress “appreciates the contributions of outgoing acting president Pijush Kanti Biswas”, the party hasn’t given any clarifications for the move.

The new committee has all senior Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman, former MLA Gopal Chandra Roy, former MLA and ‘regent maharani’ of the Tripura royal family Bibhu Kumari Devi, former MLA Ashoke Baidya, former minister Kalidas Dutta in the executive committee. The move, as reasoned by a Congress veteran at Agartala, is seen as an effort to quell discontent within the party rank and file and put up a unified fight ahead of the coming assembly polls.

Earlier on August 21, Tripura Congress acting president Pijush Kanti Biswas announced his resignation from his post.

Biswas was named as the acting president of Congress in Tripura in December 2019 after the erstwhile state Congress chief Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma resigned over differences with state leaders. Pradyot later went on to form his own political party called Tripura Indigenous Peoples Regional Alliance (TIPRA).

Biswas alleged that while he got full support from the Congress high command, he didn’t get desired support and cooperation from Tripura Congress leaders. “I didn’t get expected support and cooperation from here, in Tripura. Unity and cooperation are essential to strengthen Congress. I didn’t want to be blamed for not being able to produce proper results for lack of cooperation. So, I have resigned,” he said.

However, on September 1, AICC leader Dr Ajay Kumar visited Agartala and said he discussed a host of issues with state leaders and fixed a timeline till September 20 to make all “necessary changes”, including forming organisational committees at different levels to ensure smooth functioning of the party.

He also said state leaders will be given “free hand” and his party would go for “young and good people” who want to fight for the rights of the people while choosing candidates for the next election.

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