Agartala: 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 poll in Tripura.
Addressing a press conference, the president of the Tripura Pradesh Congress (TPCC), Pradyot Kishore Dev Burman, said many had joined the Congress today, including Ashok Kumar Baidya, a former Congress MLA from Teliamura constituency in Khowai district.
Baidya had earlier joined the BJP, Burman said, adding, Baidya had resigned from the ruling party a month ago.
“Today’s incident proved that the people are fed up with the BJ-IPFT government in one year,” Dev Burman 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 11 April,” he said.
Polling was held in West Tripura constituency in the first phase.
The TPCC president said further 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.
History.of INC-CPM rivalry in Tripura
Interestingly, the Congress had been unable to unseat the CPI(M) from power since the early 1990s. Sirf News was told by voters during the tour of Tripura at the time of the State Assembly election that the national party used to be satisfied by being able to secure a few Assembly constituencies while letting the CPM win virtually without contest every five years under the Manik Sarkar regime.
Some recent additions in the BJP had alleged when they were with Congress, their woes went unaddressed as the ruling Left Front would intimidate them into submission.
Yet if workers are abandoning the BJP and IPFT to join the Congress, “it’s because several poll promises, especially those catering for the hilly areas where the tribals live, were not honoured,” said a tribal leader.