Team of 10 Trinamool MPs, minister to tour Tripura

More Cong. leaders join party ahead of Assembly polls next year,

The Trinamool Congress has sent 10 MPs and a senior minister of the West Bengal government to Tripura ahead of Assembly elections in the north-eastern State early next year. Party sources said national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is again expected in the BJP ruled State next week.

Meanwhile BJP State President Dr Manik Saha on Friday said CPI(M) would be its main contender in the Assembly elections and not the TMC. He, however, also alleged covert links between the CPI(M) and the TMC.

Micro-level planning

Ten TMC MPs who reached Agartala via different flights included Dr Shantanu Sen and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar. West Bengal Minister Bratya Basu also arrived on his fourth visit over the past three weeks.

Sources said the MPs will separately visit all eight districts of the State to oversee ‘micro joining programme’. A senior functionary of the Youth Congress joined the TMC in presence of Mr. Basu and Dr Sen here on Friday.

Congress has so far been worst victim of the TMC’s expansion drive in Tripura. The party has already lost several senior leaders including former MLA Subal Bhowmik and former Minister Prakash Chandra Das.

The State’s ruling BJP, however, remains confident of preventing possible erosion in the organisation despite visible dissidence in the party. Dr Saha and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb returned from New Delhi after a meeting with central leaders including BJP national president J.P. Nadda. He said they only discussed important organisation matters.

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