Internal squabble continues over TPCC president

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Agartala, Jun 16 (UNI) The crisis within the Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) continued with factional feuds among party leaders over the replacement of TPCC president and former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Barman.

Party sources said here today that the dissident group of the party held Mr Barman responsible for the debacle suffered by the Congress and its ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) in the last Assembly elections in February.

The dissident faction of Congress has been continuously demanding replacement of Mr Barman while the AICC had stated, ''Unless the TPCC president is changed, the party will lose its base in the state by the next Lok Sabha elections.'' Mr Barman, who himself lost the Assembly polls, was held responsible by other party members for debacle suffered by the Congress and its ally and this time the Congress-INPT together secured 11 seats as against the 19 that they secured in the 2003-2008 elections, but Mr Barman was still hopeful of retaining his position.

However, the dissident faction of the party, led by Gopal Roy and Birajit Sinha, have made a strong plea to the party high command to immediately remove Mr Barman from his post and they will go to Delhi soon to have their favoured choice elected as TPCC president.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Tripura Prithiviraj Chavan, who arrived here on June 4 to finalise the election of Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, indicated to his party here that a change of guard in the TPCC was in the offing.

''Mr Chavan has always opposed Mr Barman's continuance in the post of TPCC president but he failed to have his way before the Assembly polls. However, now he will try to expedite the process,'' former MLA and leader of the Opposition Tapas De said.

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