The Tripura’s state unit will request its chief Mamata Banerjee to reconsider her decision to vote for Meira Kumar in the presidential election as CPI-M too is supporting her, said Tripura TMC leader Sudip Roy Burman on Monday.
“We cannot vote for a candidate who is being supported by the CPI-M. The CPI-M is our main enemy and we are fighting against its misrule for a long time. The TMC here has decided not to vote for someone who is being supported by CPI-M,” he told a press conference in Agartala.
Burman, who was speaking in the presence of Tripura’s Trinamool Congress president Asish Saha and other leaders, alleged that no central leader of the party had consulted the state unit before or after deciding to support Kumar.
“If Mamata Banerjee does not change her stand on support to Meira Kumar, TMC functionaries (in Tripura) will discuss the situation on Wednesday and decide the future course of action,” he said.
Burman said the BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convener of the North East Democratic alliance (NEDA) have requested TMC MLAs of Tripura to vote for BJP’s presidential candidate Ramnath Kobind.
“We will officially inform them about our decision after Wednesday’s meeting.”
“No party can issue a whip to their MLAs to vote for any candidate in the presidential election and we will decide on whom we will vote,” he added.
The Tripura TMC’s decision against voting for Meira Kumar was taken at a meeting of the party leaders including the five party MLAs. One Tripura TMC MLA Dilip Sarkar is now in Delhi and he too has supported the decision, he said.
Burman said six Congress legislators, including himself had defected before the West Bengal assembly election last year in protest against Congress-CPI(M) alliance there and had joined TMC because they had felt it was the only party which can oust CPI-M from power in Tripura.
But the TMC has begun coming closer to the CPI-M, a move which became evident after Mamata Banerjee called up Sitaram Yechuri on the issue of demonetization, he alleged.
Moreover TMC secretary general Partha Chaterjee has said the party in West Bengal has no relation with the TMC leaders in Tripura. “This is unfortunate,” he said.
Burman said on several occasions he and other TMC leaders of Tripura tried to speak to Banerjee but she did not respond. “May be she remains very busy and has no time to speak to us.”
Earlier in the day, Chatterjee said in Kolkata that the stand of the six MLAs in Tripura was not in any way the party’s stand and it will have no truck with them in future.