Tripura Cong chief quits over NRC plea

In a setback to the Congress, Tripura party chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman resigned on Tuesday alleging the central party leadership was not “allowing him to work freely and independently and he has been under pressure to withdraw the NRC case filed in the Supreme Court.”

“I have sent a mail to the central leaders today (Tuesday) stating my decision to resign from the party post. I would submit my formal resignation soon,” Deb Barman told IANS over phone from Delhi.

Deb Barman, a scion of the state’s royal family, said some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were steering the Congress from behind. “Senior Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro has turned my life into hell. He has been pressurising me to withdraw the case seeking SC direction to introduce NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Tripura. I can’t betray my people (tribals) and hence have decided to quit the post,” Deb Barman said.

Deb Barman, appointed the Tripura Congress chief by Rahul Gandhi on February 25, said senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had asked him to continue till the completion of Badharghat Assembly by-election.

The vote took place on Monday and counting of votes will be on Friday.

Deb Barman, without taking the central party leadership into confidence, sought implementation of an Assam-like NRC in Tripura. The Congress leader said he had informed the party that he was unhappy over being pressurised on the NRC petition.

“A BJP legislator, who was with the Congress earlier, has been interfering in Faleiro’s decision-making,” he said.

In a social media post, he said: “Woke up today (Tuesday) after a long time feeling relaxed. I start this day without having to listen to criminals and liars. Not having to worry about which colleague will back stab, not having to indulge in groupism and backchat. Not having to listen to ‘High Command’ on how to accommodate corrupt people in high positions.”

His father Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya Deb Barman and mother Bibhu Kumari Devi were Lok Sabha members for several terms. Devi was also Minister in the Congress-led government in 1988-1993.