Tripura leader Ashis Das alleged "internal groupism" in Trinamool Congress. (File)
The Trinamool Congress in Tripura suffered a setback on Friday with a former MLA quitting the party ahead of crucial bypolls in the state.
Ashis Das, a leader from the Scheduled Caste community, had joined the Mamata Banerjee-led party last year after quitting the BJP.
In bitter criticism of the Trinamool leadership, Mr Das alleged “internal groupism” in the party and said it was being run like a “puppet show.”
“The Trinamool wants to secure themselves in West Bengal by weakening the Congress in rest of the country, in a way that helps the BJP,” said Mr Das.
He also trained his guns at Trinamool National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Ms Banerjee, and said there was no democratic environment in both BJP and Trinamool.
Interestingly, before joining the Trinamool, Mr Das had shaved his head as an “act of atonement” for his association with the BJP, and heaped praises on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
His announcement to quit the Trinamool came two days after the Election Commission declared the schedule for bypolls to four assembly segments in the state, including his constituency Surma.
Mr Das's defection from BJP to Trinamool last year led to him losing his assembly membership, paving the way for bypolls in Surma.
The bypolls are scheduled for June 23, which is being seen as the semi-finals to the early-2023 assembly elections.
The Trinamool has been trying to make inroads into the state ahead of next year's elections.