Dissident MLAs of the ruling BJP in Tripura met the party's national president JP Nadda in Delhi and expressed their grievances about the alleged "bad governance" in the state, one of the rebels said on Wednesday. A group of four MLAs representing the dissidents also informed him of the state's political and organisational situation.
However, they are tightlipped about what Nadda told them at the meeting which lasted for more than an hour on Tuesday night. "The outcome of the meeting will be cleared after the end of the Durga Puja festival (in the fourth week of this month)," Ram Prasad Paul, one of the four legislators who attended the meeting, said over the phone from the national capital.
Legislator Sudip Roy Barman, who had criticised Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on several occasions before being axed as the health minister in June, was not present at the meeting. He is considered the leader of the dissident group. "We have not come here to complain against anyone. But being the members or leaders of the BJP, we all have the right and responsibility to inform the central leadership about the happenings in the state," Pal said.
Claiming that some people are doing damage to the party in Tripura, he said that they handed over to Nadda a memorandum detailing organisational and political scenario of the state, and sought his intervention immediately. "We are here not for us but for the party. The BJP has and will continue to have 36 MLAs (in Tripura) in the coming days. There is no question of any change in that number," Paul said.
The rebel MLAs were camping in Delhi for the past few days to meet Nadda to inform him of the alleged "bad governance" by the Biplab Kumar Deb administration, which, they claimed, could lead to the party's defeat in the 2023 Assembly poll. Twenty-five of the 36 BJP MLAs of Tripura want a proper reshuffling in the council of ministers so that good governance could be delivered to people, one of the dissidents had said earlier.
The dissidents were earlier informed that Nadda is likely to meet them on October 15 or 16. However, they received a call from his office telling them that he would meet them on Tuesday night. "We are 10-11 MLAs here but only four were asked to meet the party president due to the pandemic situation," Paul said.
Besides Paul, Asish Kumar Saha, Sushanta Chowdhury and Parimal Debbarma attended the meeting. Though the meeting with Nadda is over, the rebel MLAs are likely to remain in Delhi and seek to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, another delegation of nine dissident BJP leaders including former state president Ranajoy Deb also reached Delhi to meet the national president, a party source said. Their main demand is to remove the incumbent state party president Dr Manik Saha, so that a strong party organisation can be built in the state, the source said.
Saha is a professor of a private medical college in Tripura by profession and considered close to the chief minister. In the 60-seat Assembly, the ruling coalition has 36 legislators of the saffron party and eight of the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT). The opposition CPI(M) has 16 MLAs.