Congress legislators revolt against party chiefs in Tripura, Nagaland

January 4th, 2010 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Agartala/Kohima, Jan 4 (IANS) A section of Congress leaders and legislators in Tripura and Nagaland have revolted against their state party chiefs and have demanded their immediate removal, party sources said Monday.
The Congress is the main opposition party in Tripura and Nagaland and is in power in the remaining five northeastern states — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front and Naga People’s Front (NPF)- led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) are at the helm of affairs in Tripura and Nagaland, respectively.

Seven of the total 10 Congress MLAs have asked party president Sonia Gandhi to oust incumbent president of Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Samir Ranjan Barman, alleging massive irregularities in the organisational election and non-functioning of the party in the state.

Similarly, 13 of the 19 Congress legislators in Nagaland want a change in the state leadership.

In a letter to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, the aggrieved Congress legislators demanded the immediate removal of Barman, also the former chief minister of Tripura. The letter said: “Under his (Barman) leadership, the Congress is getting marginalised and has lost all the elections over the years miserably.”

The agitated leaders include Congress party leader Ratan Lal Nath and former TPCC president Gopal Roy.

When contacted, a visibly annoyed Congress’ Tripura party chief Barman told IANS: “Let them (the dissident leaders) do whatever they like.”

The letter, available with the media, gave detailed account of how the Congress became organisationally weak in Left-ruled Tripura.

In Nagaland, the AICC president had to depute union minister of state for parliamentary affairs and party general secretary V. Narayanasamy to resolve the organisational crisis in the party.

Narayanasamy met all the 19 Nagaland Congress legislators and other senior party leaders in Kohima last week in the wake of a demand for a change in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leadership.

CLP leader Chingwang Konyak said: “I am ready to step down if the members have lost confidence in me, but I cautioned of future consequences if the current crisis continued till the next election.”

“The foremost objective of the Congress should be to win the next election and not fight for the leadership at this juncture,” Konyak told reporters in Kohima Saturday.

The Congress which won 23 seats in the 2008 assembly election in Nagaland, was reduced to 19 after four MLAs resigned and joined the ruling NPF, the dominant party of the DAN government.

“The leadership crisis has forced us to leave Congress and to join NPF,” one of the four legislators, who deserted the Congress, said on condition of anonymity.

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