July 28, 2021 6:59:42 pm
Condemning Tripura’s BJP-led government for allegedly “detaining” members of Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC at a hotel here during their visit to survey public perception on governance despite having valid Covid test certificates, West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu Wednesday said the Tripura government is suffering from “insecurity” and is afraid of losing in the next assembly polls.
A team of 23 members of Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) was asked by Tripura Police and healthcare personnel to stay put inside a city-based private hotel during their visit to Tripura, essentially putting them under house arrest from July 25.
The team, which was learnt to have visited several places across Tripura for a survey on assessing public experience of governance for the last 4-5 days, had put up at a private hotel here.
While the state police denied reports of detaining them, the Trinamool Congress claimed the I-PAC team members were not only put under virtual house arrest inside the hotel but also booked in an FIR.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference here this afternoon, Bratya Basu said, “They (members of the I-PAC team) were detained though they had valid Covid negative certificates. An FIR was lodged against them. This is utterly condemnable. The BJP government here is suffering from insecurity and fear of losing in the next assembly elections.”
A team of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress led by Bratya Basu and others on board, including West Bengal law minister Moloy Ghatak, former Left Front MP and TMC trade union leader Hritabrata Bandopadhyay, visited Tripura and spoke with different stakeholders to take stock of the situation.
Accusing BJP of conspiring to malign Trinamool Congress in “false cases”, he said 40 central ministers campaigned for BJP prior to the West Bengal assembly elections but people still chose Mamata Banerjee above them.
Citing demolition of Lenin’s statue in Tripura after coming to power in 2018, Ghatak said BJP supporters perpetrated violence and damaged rival party offices.
Hritabrata Banerjee said the I-PAC team should not have been stopped from carrying out their job by anybody.
“The government’s actions show that they are like Hitler and Benito Mussolini. This incident is tantamount to suffocating democracy and strangulating it. This can’t be tolerated,” he said.
He further said Mamata Banerjee, who has been the West Bengal Chief Minister for three straight terms, has been central minister for two terms, is the best face among opposition political parties and claimed BJP would be removed from power at the Centre in 2024 under her leadership.
Asked how Trinamool is eyeing to expand its political base in Tripura, the youth leader said TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee would soon be visiting the state to strengthen the party’s organisation here.
Meanwhile, the I-PAC team members were freed from “house arrest” Tuesday after their Covid test reports returned negative.
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