In a scathing attack against his predecessor Manik Sarkar, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has said the CPI(M) leader was the “most corrupt” CM of the state. Speaking to reporters after the BJP national executive meeting in New Delhi on Sunday, Deb accused Sarkar of trying to “destroy” the state by not taking any action against rampant drug peddling during his tenure.
Stating that Sarkar acted like a ‘saint’, Deb said, “There was no action against those involved in drug peddling during Sarkar’s regime. The youth became addicted to drugs and many were involved with the illegal business. In the last five months of our government, we have arrested 204 people involved with drug trade. Most of them are CPI(M) supporters,” Deb said.
The CM, who raised the slogan of ‘Nasha Mukt Tripura’ as one of the BJP’s prime agendas against the erstwhile CPI(M)-led Left Front government, has been vocal about strengthening the Indo-Bangla relationship through a crackdown on drugs. Cannabis produced in Tripura and other banned drugs comprise an economy of over Rs 1,500 crore annually, he claimed, adding that the drugs were earlier smuggled to Bangladesh.
Sarkar was not available for his comments. However, CPI(M) spokesperson Goutam Das said Deb was trying to tarnish the image of Sarkar with “politically motivated blatant lies”. “They were elected to the government. But they have failed to fulfill any of their poll promises. So, they are trying to discredit Manik Sarkar, who is known for his honesty and Spartan lifestyle across the country. People will not be misled with such lies,” Das told indianexpress.com.
Since the BJP-IPFT government assumed office on March 9 this year, over 22,000 kg of cannabis was seized from different parts of the state. Over 100 cases were registered in Sonamura sub-division of Sipahijala district alone, where most of the cannabis is produced.