AGARTALA: Former CPI(M) MLA Biswajit Dutta has joined the ruling BJP in Tripura, alleging corruption, factionalism and criminal practices in the communist party.
Dutta, 68, joined the saffron party at Khowai district town, about 50 km from the state capital, on Friday evening.
He was welcomed by BJP national secretary and Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar, who said Dutta was among the "most honest leaders" of the CPI(M).
Dutta, who was associated with the CPI(M) since 1964, claimed that a "criminal conspiracy" was hatched against him before the February 18 Assembly elections in the state. He was "forced to get hospitalised" and replaced by another Left Front candidate.
The Tripura Left Front committee had unanimously announced Dutta as a candidate ahead of the polls this year. He was later replaced by former SFI leader Nirmal Biswas.
"It was a cruel and criminal conspiracy against me hatched by a faction of the party. I was forced to be hospitalised before the elections so that I could not contest it. The entire plot was supported by the (CPI-M) state committee," he told reporters on Friday.
"The story of illness was fake and manufactured to force me to give up my claim to contest as Left Front candidate. The hospitalisation was drama," Dutta alleged. He had resigned from all posts in the CPI(M) on April 18.
Reacting to the allegations, CPI(M) state leader and former Tripura Assembly Deputy Speaker Pabitra Kar on Saturday said, "Everyone knows that Biswajit Dutta was ill and his condition had deteriorated. How could we field a sick man to contest?".