Four leaders of the Tripura state Congress unit, including two senior functionaries, resigned on Friday after leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Sudip Roy Barman handed in his papers. This follows the Congress’ decision to form an alliance with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in West Bengal, ahead of Assembly elections in the state.

The four leaders who resigned were working president of the Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee Asish Kumar Saha, State Youth Congress chief Sushanta Chowdhury, Youth Congress president of the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency Viki Prasad and Youth Congress chief of the East Tripura Lok Sabha seat Rantu Deb. These leaders will purportedly join the Trinamool Congress, The Hindu quoted sources as saying.

In his resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Saha said “innumerable lives of Congressmen were taken away by the CPI(M) party while Left cadres raped women for their allegiance towards Congress party”. Calling the alliance unethical and opportunist, he added that he “cannot support this decision of the high command to tie up with the Left", PTI reported. In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the CPI(M) holds a huge majority, while the Congress has just 10 seats.

In more trouble for the Congress, Assam Pradesh Congress spokesperson Pramod Swami on Saturday quit the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, ANI reported. The decision comes two days before the second phase of state elections that are scheduled for April 11.