Senior Congress leader of Tripura Subal Bhowmick along with several others joined the Trinamool Congress on Thursday in presence of senior TMC MP Derek O'Brien and West Bengal ministers Bratya Basu and Moloy Ghatak
In presence of senior TMC MP Derek O'Brien, West Bengal ministers Bratya Basu and Moloy Ghatak handed over the party flag to Subal Bhowmick, who was the vice-president of the BJP's Tripura unit before joining the Congress, on the compound of a star hotel in Agartala after the police cancelled the programme scheduled to be held in its banquet hall, citing Covid-19 protocol.
O'Brien asserted that the "unprecedented incident" reflects the insecurity of Tripura's ruling BJP, while Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said that everyone needs to follow the Covid protocols.
While Bhowmick claimed that 40 leaders and workers joined the TMC, seven ex-leaders of the Congress including former minister Prakash Das were present at the function.
Condemning the interference of the police in the programme, Bhowmick alleged that it was a "calculated move" by the BJP government to stop him from joining the party headed by Mamata Banerjee.
"I am sure the TMC would form the government in the state in the 2023 assembly election. The BJP would also be ousted from the Centre under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee," he said.
Banerjee is currently in Delhi holding parleys with opposition leaders to explore ways to cobble together an alliance of anti-BJP parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
On the police action, O'Brien said that the TMC had obtained permission to hold the programme but the police cancelled it at the last moment citing COVID protocol.
“This is an unprecedented incident. I think the BJP is feeling insecure about losing power in the next election,” he said.
The chief minister told reporters that he welcomes the visit of the TMC leaders in the holy land of Mata Tripurasundari.
“Atithi Deba Bhava (guest is like God) is our culture. But Tripura is a bordering state and Independence Day is coming. We all need to abide by the COVID protocols. We cannot interrupt the police in doing their duties,” Deb said.
Bhowmick, who was the vice-president of the Tripura BJP, joined the Congress after he was denied party ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He fought against BJP nominee Pratima Bhowmick and was defeated.