Mamata to showcase former state Cong president Manas Bhuniya in Tripura

  • Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2016 11:37 IST
Trinamool Congress recently became the main opposition party in Tripura assembly after majority of Congress legislators quit party. Mamata Banerjee is targeting Left bastion Tripura which would go for assembly polls in 2018. (HT photo)

On September 23, Mamata Banerjee is sending Manas Bhuniya and Abhishek Banerjee to Tripura to showcase Bhuniya as a major Trinamool gain from the Congress camp.

The chief minister is targeting Tripura, where her party hopes to make a dent during the assembly polls slated for 2018. TMC has already roped in majority of Congress MLAs in the hope of wresting power from ruling CPI (M).

Bhuniya, as of now is not going to resign from the assembly despite joining Trinamool Congress last week. Sources stated that he is preparing a battle of nerves with his former party leaders.

“I have been asked by Trinamool Congress supremo to accompany Abhishek Banerjee to Tripura. After joining Trinamool Congress, I met with Mamata Banerjee who told me to start working for the party immediately. I told her I am ready to work in capacity she and party wants,” Bhuniya said. On September 19, Bhuniya, a six-time congress MLA and former state president, quit party and joined TMC along with half a dozen party stalwarts.

Read: Manas Bhuniya: Why I quit Congress after 46 years

Sources said TMC wants Bhuniya to help leaders like party’s youth president and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee to consolidate its position in Tripura. Trinamool Congress is trying to grab a major share of Congress’s vote bank in the northeastern state.

On September 19, Bhuniya six times congress MLA and former state president quit party and joined Trinamool Congress along with half a dozen party stalwarts.

According to sources, Trinamool Congress would showcase Bhuniya, its latest and major gain from Congress in Bengal to the people of Tripura.

Trinamool Congress became the main opposition party in Tripura assembly after majority of Congress legislators quit party. Few months ago, six out of ten Congress legislators resigned from their party and joined Trinamool Congress in the 60 member Tripura assembly. At present, CPIM has 51 MLAs in the assembly whereas Trinamool Congress has six. Congress is down to only three now.

Read: After Bengal, Mamata Banerjee sets eyes on Tripura

Led by the CPI-M, the Left Front is ruling Tripura since 1993. Manik Sarkar is the chief minister since 1998. The Congress never managed to win more than 13 seats in the last five elections, bagging 10 each in 2008 and 2013.

According to sources, Bhuniya and others who have left Congress is not going to immediately resign as legislators. When asked whether he will resign as an MLA, Bhuniya said, “I have come to the platform of the real Congress in Bengal. They will decide on the future course of action.”

Already, Congress legislative party leader Abdul Mannan has already planned to write a letter to the Speaker of the assembly to remove Bhuniya as a member under anti-defection law.

After returning from Tripura, Bhuniya would also visit his constituency Sabang where he will hold meetings with his followers and take a tour of the West Midnapore district.

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