The Trinamool Congress and and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state units in Tripura have separately sought the expulsion of the state’s Forest and Rural Development Minister Naresh Jamatia from the cabinet for his alleged involvement in a sex scandal in his constituency. While the TMC brought out a protest rally raising slogans demanding the removal of the minister, the BJP demanded Jamatia’s resignation at a press conference.
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TMC MLA Asish Saha said, “For a long time this state is holding the top position in crime against amongst the states. One after another incidents of rape of woman and children are taking place here, and surprisingly, of late, a child was raped by a councillor of the Agartala Municipal Corporation. In crimes against women in the state, not only the supporters and leaders of the ruling party are involved, but also elected people’s representatives.”
“Allegations are raised against the state Forest Minister Naresh Jamatia by their own party’s elected member of the Autonomous District Council, Joykishore Jamatia. This is not our allegation. Earlier, we had demanded in the floor of the assembly that he should be immediately suspended from his post as forest minister and the law be enforced against him. Today, the TMC is raising the same demand and taking part in a protest rally,” Saha added.
BJP state president Biplab Deb said, “The biggest problem of Tripura is crimes against women, which as high as 80 percent. In 1988, when Manik Sarkar became chief minister for the first time, the rate of crime against women in Tripura was between 20 to 25 percent, but now, it has risen to 80 percent. Today, there is an allegation against a councillor of being involved in a sex scandal with a five year old child, but the state government is silent about it. An elected MDC of the state Joykishore Jamatia has been removed from the CPI-M party after he was charged with sex scandal. He had to resign from his MDC post and which is like an MLA within the ADC area. Now, a similar allegation has been made by Joykishore Jamatia against a state minister. I am not speaking in favour of Joykishore Jamatia, but if he can be removed from the party, then why not Naresh Jamatia?”
He added: “This is my question to the chief minister, who in 2002 had dismissed a male minister from the cabinet for involvement in a sex scandal, a female minister was also removed on allegation of having a illicit relationship with her PG. Many other CPI-M leaders have been removed on similar allegations, but in the case of Naresh Jamatia, the chief minister is still silent. During a four day session in the House, the opposition had raised this issue, but then also, the chief minister maintained his silence. Now we want to know from Manik Sarkar why no decision is being taken in the case of Naresh Jamatia?”
Jamatia has refuted the allegation and told the house that he has filed a case in a local court against the newspaper that alleged that he was involved in a sex scandal. The speaker of the state assembly has refused to allow a discussion on the issue, saying the matter is sub-judice.