Agartala: The opposition Congress in Tripura suffered a jolt ahead of the Feb 14 assembly election as 32 leaders of the Pradesh Congress Scheduled Tribe (ST) Department, the tribal wing of the party, has resigned and will contest in 20 seats against the official nominee.

AICC member and leader of the Congress ST Department, Debabrata Koloi today alleged that the decision to put up 17 candidates in ST reserved seats and three more in general constituencies was taken in protest against allocating 11 seats to the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) without consulting the ST department of the party and not giving tickets to the prominent tribal leaders of the Congress party.

 “Thirty two leaders of the ST cell, including me and another AICC member Nirupama Chakma, have resigned from the party and faxed the resignation letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday”, Koloi told reporters.

The Congress and INPT forged an alliance for the 60-member assembly poll scheduled to be held on February 14 and eleven seats were given to INPT.

 “Party workers in the tribal areas at grass root level are frustrated and unhappy due to exclusion of senior Congress ST leaders including Debabrata Koloi, Secretray of Tripura PCC, Tripura Mahila Congress general secretary, Manihar Debbarma, Congress ST Department Chairman, Phanibhushan Debbarma and others”, the dissenting leaders said.

Koloi felt INPT could have been satisfied with five seats.


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