Around 1,000 workers who left the Congress in Tripura in June 2016 returned to the party on Friday, giving it a boost in state where Assembly elections will be held early in 2018, the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.

The workers had left the party along with six MLAs, who had joined the Trinamool Congress in protest against the Congress’ alliance with the Left in West Bengal ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. The six legislators had quit the TMC in August to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Tripura Congress Vice President Tapas Dey told that Mujibur Islam, former head of the National Students’ Union of India, led the return of the 1,000 minority leaders to the party.

“People at the grassroots still have faith in the Congress and believe that our party is the only alternative to the Left Front in Tripura,” Congress MLA Gopal Roy told the Hindustan Times. “The BJP cannot lure people through their false promises anymore.”

Congress Working President in Tripura Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman, who is also the head of the royal family in the state, spoke to the defectors a few days ago, the report said.