Five Trinamool Congress legislators in Tripura have been suspended for criticising party chief Mamata Banerjee’s support to the Opposition’s presidential candidate Meira Kumar, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

The suspended MLAs are Sudip Roy Barman, Diba Chandra Hrangkhawi, Asish Saha, Biswabandhu Sen and Pranjit Singha Roy. They had defected from the Congress to the TMC before the West Bengal Assembly elections last year.

TMC cannot officially expel these leaders as they have yet to resign from the Tripura Assembly despite having quit the Congress.

Trinamool General Secretary Partha Chatterjee on Monday said the party will not maintain any relations with the suspended leaders.

TMC Vice President Mukul Roy, who was also in-charge of party affairs in Tripura, has been replaced by Bidhannagar Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta.

‘Will not vote for Meira Kumar as she has CPI(M) support’

Earlier on Monday, Barman had urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to reconsider her decision to back Kumar in the July 17 presidential election. “We cannot vote for a candidate who is being supported by the CPM. The CPM is our main enemy and we have been fighting against its misrule for a long time,” he had said.

The MLA had also claimed that the party’s Tripura functionaries had not been consulted before the decision to support Kumar was made. “If Mamata Banerjee does not change her stand on supporting Meira Kumar, [Tripura] TMC functionaries will discuss the situation on Wednesday and decide on a future course of action,” he had said.

Kumar to visit Kolkata on Tuesday

Meira Kumar is set to visit Kolkata on Tuesday to meet Opposition members – the TMC, CPI(M) and the Congress – who nominated her. As per the norm, parties are not allowed to issue whips asking their MLAs and MPs to vote for a certain candidate in the presidential election.