BL Santosh raps Tripura BJP top brass over defections
BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh

Defections in Tripura BJP now have the party’s national leadership’s attention. The BJP National general secretary BL Santosh has asked top leaders of the state unit to refrain from stitching electoral understanding with parties working to weaken the saffron camp.

Santosh referred to the resignation of sitting BJP MLA Burba Mohan Tripura, a day after former CM Biplab Kumar Deb was elected to the Rajya Sabha, a highly-placed source in Tripura BJP told EastMojo.  

“During the two-day Chintan Baithak held in Agartala, Santosh reprimanded a section of state BJP leaders allegedly vouching for a fresh alliance with TIPRA. With more clarity and conviction, Santosh told those leaders to shift their focus to the groundwork. Apart from Burba Mohan Tripura, senior BJP leader and former leader of opposition in the TTAADC, Hongsa Kumar Tripura also joined TIPRA. These two major defections have seriously jolted the saffron camp and the party high command has toughened its stand against royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman-led TIPRA,” a top BJP leader told EastMojo

Riddled with defections, the BJP in Tripura is all set for a tough test in the form of the assembly elections scheduled next year.

If sources are to be believed, several MLAs are in the queue to desert the saffron camp ahead of the polls. Even as party officials are trying to reach out to disgruntled leaders, some leaders have reached the point of no return, said BJP insiders.

“In Tripura, political parties give much importance to the 20 tribal reserve seats because it is widely believed that whoever wins the hills wins the polls. The BJP may not be able to wrest power in the sixth schedule areas but still, it has the highest number of elected members. The challenge now is to give a fillip to its organisation base in the hills. During the meetings, the BJP national general secretary has charted out some organisational initiatives required to be taken as early as possible,” the source added. 

When contacted, BJP MP from East Tripura Parliamentary constituency Rebati Tripura said, “All our leaders have been asked to carry forward the national programmes undertaken by the BJP all over the country. Santosh ji also directed all of us to work in coordination for the ensuing elections.”

When asked about Burba Mohan Tripura, he said, “Burba Mohan Tripura realised that his performance was not up to the mark and even if he wants, the party will not give him a ticket for the next polls. We have spoken to him. He was advised to stay, but he didn’t listen to us. He was bargaining with the Congress and TIPRA for a ticket and maybe TIPRA has agreed and that’s how the joining happened finally.” 

Meanwhile, TIPRA chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarman said, “Burba Mohan Tripura joined TIPRA without any conditions.”

Apart from Santosh, BJP National Spokesman and newly-appointed northeast coordinator Sambit Patra also attended the Chintan Baithak that ended on Saturday. 

Also read | Tripura: Unemployment leads to heated debate in Assembly

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