45 days after electoral rout, Congress remains leaderless (Tripura Newsletter)

Agartala, April 13 (IANS) Even though the second session of the Tripura assembly will start April 26, the main opposition Congress is yet to choose its leader, a good 45 days its was routed in the Feb 14 assembly elections.

“Six of the 10 Congress legislators are contenders for the post of legislative party leader, who would be the opposition leader of the state,” a Congress leader told IANS, requesting that his identity be withheld.

He said: “Tripura Congress president Sudip Roy Barman is the main contender for the post of legislative party leader. He also enjoys the support of the majority Congress legislators.”

Party leader Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, who is the seniormost among Congress MLAs and the party’s lone tribal legislator, said: “Congress President Sonia Gandhi has already gathered the opinion of the Congress legislators and she might announce the name of the Congress legislator party (CLP) leader from New Delhi.”

The vacancy at the top within the state Congress unit arose after Ratan Lal Nath, who served as the leader of the opposition, refused to be CLP leader again.

Congress boycotted most days of the first session of the assembly, protesting the alleged violence against its party workers in the state.

The budget session of the Tripura assembly will begin April 26, and state Finance Minister Badal Choudhury would present the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal. Scripting a record, this would be Choudhury’s 16th budget.

In another setback for the Congress since its rout in assembly polls, the party’s most prominent leader, Subal Bhowmik, launched a new party April 3, Tripura Pragatishil Gramin Congress (TPGC). He blamed the central and state party leaders for the Congress’ humiliating defeat in the state.

Another important woman tribal leader, Sebika Reang, recently resigned from the Congress and joined the ruling CPI-M.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at [email protected])

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