- Tripura Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath on Friday officially cancelled Congress-turned-BJP leader
- Nath was a veteran Congress leader and five-term legislator
Tripura Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath on Friday officially cancelled Congress-turned-BJP leader Ratanlal Nath’s MLA status.
The former leader of opposition who won from Mohanpur assembly constituency five times in a row as a Congress nominee, had recently joined BJP.
In an order issued by the Assembly secretariat, the Speaker said, “Nath’s joining the BJP on December 22 has resulted in incurring disqualification on ground of defection”. Tripura PCC president Birajit Sinha wrote to the Speaker on December 22 and sought cancellation of Nath’s MLA status.
Nath was expelled from primary membership of the Congress soon afterwards. The Speaker on Friday said Nath did not deny the allegations of the Congress leader and couldn’t escape disqualification. Nath told this correspondent that the decision was irrational. “This is a Tughlaqi firman. This decision was engineered by the CPM to appease the Congress,” he said.
Nath was a veteran Congress leader and five-term legislator from Mohanpur Assembly constituency, 23km from here. In June last year, six MLAs, led by former Opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman, defected from the Trinamul Congress to the BJP. The team had left the Congress in 2016.
The 71-year-old Nath held various posts in Congress and since 1993, was elected five times as Congress candidate from the Mohanpur assembly constituency in western Tripura.With this, the Congress strength in the outgoing assembly has been reduced to just two from the original ten.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front has 51 members with the CPI-M alone having 50 legislators.
Nath along with six other MLAs, who deserted the Congress to join Trinamool Congress and then moved to the BJP, voted for the National Democratic Alliance’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election on July 17 last year.