AGARTALA, Dec 5 - In a new twist to the ongoing tussle in the ruling BJP in Tripura, the dissident MLAs today boycotted the felicitation programme of Vinod Kumar Sonkar, the party prabhari, at the Rabindra Bhavan here.
Meanwhile, sources said that Sonkar, a seasoned party worker, is scheduled to speak to the dissident MLAs at the State guesthouse tomorrow to break the ice.
The State BJP committee had made elaborate arrangements to accord a warm welcome to the newly-appointed party prabhari. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma shared the dais with Sonkar.
Almost all the ministers, MLAs and BJP workers were present in the programme that the dissidents had skipped. The rebel MLAs include the party�s State vice president Ram Prasad Paul.
The dissident MLAs, however, alleged that they were not invited to join the felicitation programme arranged for Sonkar. None of the rebel legislators could be reached on the phone for their comments.
�I am a prabhari only and will not be a burden to anyone. I came here to help the karyakartas ensure that the BJP remains in power everywhere � from the panchayat to Parliament,� Sonkar said while addressing the programme.
Heaping praise on the BJP workers, the prabhari said, �You have proved a point by securing a massive victory for the BJP in the 2018 Assembly elections. You are always at the forefront when it comes to discipline, sacrifice and labour. Efforts must be made to strengthen the organisation from the booth level�.
Sonkar further stated, �There should not be any gap between the Government and the organisation�.
The new BJP prabhari, who arrived here on a two-day visit, went to Udaipur to offer prayers at the Maa Tripureswari temple.
Sonkar is also slated to have a dinner with the Chief Minister. But all eyes will be set on Sunday�s meeting with the dissident MLAs at the State guesthouse.
The dissidents who claimed they wanted to reform the party, had already visited New Delhi and Guwahati to air their grievances before the BJP higher-ups.