The Congress reversed its order within 24 hours on the appointment of State in charge for Tripura which is going through leadership crisis with the resignation of the Pradesh Congress president Pradyut Deb Barman after a bitter battle with the State in-charge Luizinho Falerio.
On Monday, the party removed Mr. Falerio as State in charge for Tripura and Manipur. On Tuesday, in what it called a “partial modification”, the party reinstated Mr. Falerio as Tripura in-charge. Insiders claim the flip-flop was the result of a tussle between former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the old guard. Mr. Deb Barman was one of the last PCC presidents appointed by Mr. Gandhi before he resigned as Congress president and is considered a loyalist. Meanwhile, Mr. Falerio, a seven-time Goa legislator and former Chief Minister of the State, is close to the old guard.
When contacted Mr. Faleiro said that he had nothing to do with the flip-flop. “I didn't issue the orders, only the person who issued the orders can clarify if Monday's orders were sent out by mistake,” Mr. Faleiro told The Hindu .
General Secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal, who signed both the orders, claimed that it was a “clerical error” with no clarity on why it took the party a day to correct a mistake.
The party firmly claims that the reversal of the order had anything to do with the differences between Mr. Deb Barman and Mr. Faleiro.
Mr. Deb Barman had resigned over a public spat with Mr. Faleiro over his petition in Supreme Court requesting implementation of an Assam-like citizens’ list in the State. He had accused Mr. Faleiro of taking advice on the State-level party post from a few MLAs, who switched from the Congress to the BJP.
After Monday’s order, according to sources, Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Deb Barman spoke. Mr. Deb Barman also exchanged pleasantries on Twitter with Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi who was to handle Tripura.
Sealing all the possibilities of Mr. Deb Barman’s return to the party on Tuesday, the Congress issued a fresh memo offering ‘partial modification’. In the new notification, Mr. Gogoi has been given charge of Sikkim and Manipur while Mr. Faleiro retains Tripura.