Two days after Tripura Congress president Pradyot Kishore Debbarman resigned over from the party ‘groupism’, state leaders alleged Thursday that he is working at the behest of the BJP and his resignation is a part of a ‘deal’ with BJP president Amit Shah.
Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, senior Congress leader Subal Bhowmik alleged that Pradyot’s resignation was not a sudden decision but a premeditated ‘deal’ with BJP.
“Pradyot Kishore resigned as part of a deal. Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma engineered this deal. Our former state president (Pradyot) and his mother Bibhu Devi fixed this deal with BJP president Amit Shah a week back,” Bhowmik told reporters. He claimed Pradyot, who is now learnt to be planning to float a regional political party, would soon join BJP.
Accusing Pradyot of being hand-in-glove with the BJP, the Congress leader said Tripura’s ruling allies BJP and Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura are not in good terms with each other, owing to which the saffron party is trying to rope in Pradyot – the royal scion of Tripura’s Manikya dynasty.
“BJP is trying to weaponise Pradyot Kishore. He was trying to give individual treatment to the party. We could not speak these things because he was still our leader. Now that he has resigned from primary membership of the party, we are laying out the truth,” Bhowmik said.
A day after Pradyot’s resignation, ten Congress leaders also quit the party fold, saying his departure was forced by ‘conspiratory activities’ of All India Congress Committee general secretary Luizinho Faleiro. Shortly after his resignation, Pradyot took to social media and said he was forced to resign due to mandates of Faleiro and ‘backstabbing people’ in his party.
Countering the allegations, Bhowmik said AICC general secretary Faleiro is trying to revive Congress in Tripura. He also said a defamation suit would be filed against Pradyot over his allegations.
Bhowmik, who was the BJP state vice president till March 19 – barely weeks before Lok Sabha polls, joined the Congress under Pradyot. The Congress party rose from 1.7 per cent vote share in 2018 assembly election to 28 per cent in Lok Sabha polls held this year under his watch as well.
Meanwhile, Pradyot denied Bhowmik’s allegation, saying neither he nor his mother met Amit Shah. “My mother is at Agartala for last 15 days. I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and others at New Delhi. I didn’t meet Amit Shah, neither do I have any link with the saffron party,” Pradyot said.
Taking potshots at Subal Bhowmik over his frequent jumps between political parties, he said, “It seems Subal Bhowmik is a Ph.D holder in jumping ships between parties. If I launch a new party, I shall seek his blessings.”
Sources close to the palace informed the royal scion also said he is not keeping well and is suffering from chest pain since the last couple of weeks.
Pradyot’s resignation came in the heels of a controversy regarding his stand on NRC revision in Tripura. He had filed a petition with the Supreme Court on October 22 last year seeking NRC revision in the state.
He announced his resignation on Tuesday and said some AICC leaders asked him to choose between his NRC petition and the president’s post. “I prefer resigning to letting down my people. I shall never betray them”, Pradyot said on social media.