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Citizenship bill protests: Tripura BJP accuses CPI(M) of ‘planting elements’ to chant anti-India slogans

Speaking to indianexpress.com, state BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said internal reports suggested that nearly 30-40 people were "planted" in the public meeting by "certain elements".

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: February 2, 2019 10:14:41 pm
Protests erupted against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill in Tripura earlier this week. (Express file photo/Debraj Deb) Protests erupted against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill in Tripura earlier this week. (Express file photo/Debraj Deb)

Tripura BJP on Saturday accused the CPI(M) of “planting certain elements” to chant anti-India slogans during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill earlier this week. The CPI(M), however, refuted the saffron party’s charges.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, state BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said internal reports suggested that nearly 30-40 people were “planted” in the public meeting by “certain elements”. Sinha, however, refused to comment on the identity of the sloganeers or the “certain elements”.

The BJP leader alleged that the BJP had started a whisper campaign shortly before the rally begun at Khumulwng, the headquarters of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous territorial Council (TTAATC), on January 30. “CPI(M) had begun a whisper campaign shortly before the rally. It is characteristic of their politics. They used 30-40 people to start the whisper campaign which aimed to create a divide between the tribal and non-tribal communities,” Sinha said.

Terming BJP’s charges as “ridiculous and bogus”, Tripura Left Front convenor and former CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said, “CPI(M) has other things to do. These whisper campaign charges are ridiculous and bogus.”

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The agitation against the contentious bill was called by the Tripura United Indigenous People’s Council (TUIPC), a joint body of 48 returnee insurgent organizations in the state. Various tribal political parties like the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), National Conference of Tripura (NCT), IPFT Tipraha – a breakaway faction of Tripura’s ruling tribal ally IPFT – had also joined the stir.

In a video which went viral on social media, a group of protesters are seen chanting anti-India slogans, similar to the ones raised in Mizoram last week. Condemning the slogans, Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, whom the agitating tribal leaders unilaterally accepted as their leader, appealed to the people to oppose the saffron party and not the country. He also urged the citizens to resist the legislation.

On Friday, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had issued a stern warning in an indirect reference to Debbarma’s anti-Citizenship Bill stance, and asked politicians to refrain from “nasty politics”.

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