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BJP govt in Tripura using pandemic as cover to throttle opposition voices: CPM

CPM state secretary Goutam Das told reporters Tuesday that as many as 219 of its activists have come under attack since the BJP-led government came to power in 2018.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: July 6, 2021 11:09:22 pm
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. (File Photo: PTI)

The Opposition CPM in Tripura alleged that the BJP-IPFT government in the state is using the pandemic as a cover to throttle opposition voices. The party said it would continue to protest against purported political attacks by adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

CPM state secretary Goutam Das told reporters Tuesday that as many as 219 of its activists have come under attack since the BJP-led government came to power in 2018. A total of 155 houses and shops belonging to its workers and 17 party offices have been ransacked and yet no arrests have been made so far.

Referring to the Covid-19 situation, he alleged that neither the state nor the Centre has taken any meaningful step to reduce the virus-related mortalities.

“The state is using Covid-19 as their weapon to restrain the opposition party from protesting against incidents of violence, rise in Covid cases and fuel prices, etc. If we protest, then we are arrested. But the ruling party can do anything. We organize our protests following Covid-19 guidelines and we will continue to do so,” said Das during a press conference.

Terming the state government ‘inhuman’, the CPM state secretary alleged that the regime has not provided job opportunities or food kits in areas of the indigenous population. He claimed that the crime rate and incidents of murder, violence against women, theft, etc. has increased in the state.

“Our leaders have placed several proposals to develop health infrastructures, but nothing was done. Even our leaders faced attacks while distributing Covid-19 relief to people. Covid testing has now come down. The government claims that the state is in the first position in vaccination, but where is vaccination in the rural and hilly areas,” he said.

BJP’s Nabendu Bhattacharya denied allegations of his party’s involvement in attacks on workers and leaders of the Left. He said the Opposition is responsible for the assaults on itself and is merely passing the onus on the ruling party. He also alleged that Left leaders have shown ‘utter irresponsibility’ on COVID awareness by organising political events including a Raj Bhawan Abhiyan – at a time when all public events are either suspended or attendance is capped.

During the press conference, Das of the CPM also took potshots at the demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’ raised by royal scion Pradyot Manikya during the district Council polls, calling it ‘unreal’ and capable of ‘igniting riots.’

“Greater Tipraland is a way to misguide the tribal students. The Greater Tipraland will be comprised of portions in Agartala, Assam, Mizoram and Bangladesh including the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council,” Das said.

Manikya, who floated the demand of Greater Tipraland earlier this year, has been vocal on a number of issues including extending support to the NRC revision, opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and demanding greater autonomy of the state’s tribal council among others. Since his party swept the ADC polls in April, Manikya has flagged issues of low fund flow for development in the ADC areas and has sponsored a number of development works including ramping up public healthcare from his coffers.

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