In an interesting development, a Congress MLA in Tripura has urged the Union Home Ministry to provide security to a BJP leader claiming his life is "under threat", official and party sources said here on Monday.
A police official said Congress legislator Ratan Lal Nath has written to the Union Home Ministry requesting that central para-military forces be asked to provide security to BJP's national "Prabhari" (observer) Sunil Deodhar.
The official on condition of anonymity said the Union Home Ministry has sought the Tripura government's views on the issue.
The Congress MLA confirmed that he has written to the Union Home Ministry in this regard.
"I have learnt that some smugglers and anti-social (elements) have chalked out a plan to kill (Sunil) Deodhar. Hence, I have written this letter to the MHA," he said.
Deodhar, who hails from Maharashtra, is the BJP's national "Prabhari" in Tripura and has been spearheading various agitations on behalf of his party against the ruling Left Front.
BJP's spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb refused to comment on the issue.
The Congress recently served a showcause notice to Nath for "anti-party activities" and meeting BJP leaders, including party President Amit Shah and state BJP chief Biplab Kumar Deb.
"We have recently served a showcause notice to (Ratan Lal) Nath," Tripura state Congress President Birajit Sinha told IANS.
"(Ratan Lal) Nath during a debate on demonetisation in the state assembly talked in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also not attended any party (Congress) programme during the past two years," added Birajit Sinha, a sitting Congress MLA and former minister.
Ratan Lal Nath, 71 told IANS: "I have received the show-cause notice of the state Congress President." But he declined to make any comment on the issue.
The Congress legislator has been elected five times to the state assembly since 1993 and was also the opposition leader for many years.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress won 10 seats in the 60-member state assembly.
Six Congress MLAs, led by Sudip Roy Barman, resigned from the party last year. They have joined the Trinamool Congress in protest against the Congress' electoral alliance with the Left parties in the West Bengal assembly elections.
Another Congress legislator Jitendra Sarkar resigned from the Tripura assembly and rejoined the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), reducing the Congress' strength in the state assembly to three.
Sarkar joined the BJP on Sunday.
With these political developments, the Congress' strength in the Tripura assembly has gone down from 10 to three - the lowest ever - in the House.
The ruling Left Front has 51 legislators after it won the by-poll last year. The CPI-M alone has 50 members.