Agartala: In a dramatic turn of events, Congress legislator Jitendra Sarkar on Monday resigned from the Tripura assembly and decided to rejoin the ruling CPI-M.
Assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath told IANS that Sarkar submitted his resignation to him and he had accepted it.
Sarkar then told the CPI-M leadership that he would rejoin the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Amid the developments, security personnel were deployed on Sunday night outside the residence of Sarkar, who refused to talk to the media about his sudden resignation.
The development came amid reported efforts by the Trinamool Congress to split the Congress legislators’ group.
A former leader of the CPI-M and a former two-term speaker of the Tripura assembly, Sarkar joined the Congress with his supporters in March 2010.
The 71-year-old Sarkar was elected to the assembly five times since 1978 from Teliamura constituency in west Tripura. But he was denied re-nomination by the CPI-M in 2008.
CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar told IANS: “Sarkar upheld political morality by joining his original party instead of Trinamool.”
In 2013, Sarkar was elected to the assembly from Barjala constituency as a Congress candidate by a narrow margin.
“Of late the moves by Sudip Roy Barman and his followers to join the Trinamool Congress and the pulls and pressures from different factions had upset Sarkar,” a close associate of Sarkar said.
Trinamool Congress Vice President Mukul Roy, who came here on a day’s visit on Friday, met seven disgruntled Congress legislators including Sarkar — just before the latter quit the assembly.
Roy, who came here as an emissary of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in his meetings persuaded some Congress MLAs to join his party.
One of the seven disgruntled MLAs, suspended Congress legislator Sudip Roy Barman, recently resigned from the post of Congress Legislator Party leader protesting against the Congress-Left alliance in West Bengal.
Barman was also the opposition leader in the Tripura assembly.
Congress leader Tapas Dey said the leadership in Delhi was sending the party’s all-India secretary Bhupen Bora to Tripura on Tuesday to deal with the latest crisis.
The Congress has 10 legislators in the 60-member Tripura assembly.
Meanwhile, Tripura Congress president Birajit Sinha on Monday urged the Speaker to act under the anti-defection law against six Congress legislators: Sudip Roy Barman, Ashish Saha, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl, Pranjit Singha Roy, Jitendra Sarkar and Biswabandhu Sen.
Speaker Debnath said he would inform the Election Commission on Tuesday about Sarkar’s resignation and take necessary steps to fill up the vacant seat.