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Former minister and senior CPI leader Manindra Riyan Wednesday joined Janata Dal (United) saying he was not given due importance in the CPI(M)-led Left Front government. He also said CPI (M) and other Left parties speak of equal distribution of wealth but never practice the policy.

Speaking to reporters at Shantirbazaar in South Tripura, Riyan, who served as Minister for Home (Prisons) during the CPI(M)-led Left Front rule till February last year, today said he joined JD(U) following the principles of its party chief Nitish Kumar.

“CPI(M), other Left parties and Congress speak of equal distribution (of wealth). But they speak without any action on the same. I have joined JD(U) following the principles of Nitish Kumar,” Riyan told reporters.

He also said his opinions were not given due importance during his stint as minister in the CPI(M)-led Left Front government. “It’s been one year since 2018 assembly elections and no one from the Left Front has bothered to enquire about me,” he said and added that it pained him.

CPI Tripura state secretary Ranjit Majumder told a press conference this evening that Riyan was expelled for anti-party activities. The decision was taken after consultation with the party’s state organisational committee and central committee leaders, he added.

“We had previous information that Manindra Riyan was maintaining close contact with anti-Left political parties. His defection to Janata Dal (United) is an act of treachery with Left democratic movement, tribal populace and people from Shantirbazaar assembly constituency, which he used to represent,” Majumder said.

He said ruling BJP and its allies were active in disrupting the rank and file of opposition political parties in Tripura along with rest of the country by engineering defection to the saffron camp. “We appeal our party workers to campaign about this heinous motive of BJP and their NDA partners to disrupt rank and file of opposition political parties,” the CPI leader said.

He claimed no other CPI members joined JD(U) with Manindra Riyan.