January 20, 2021 9:07:09 pm
Former Tripura chief minister and veteran CPI(M) leader Manik Sarkar joined a rally in Agartala to protest against alleged fascist attacks on democracy, saying he has raised concerns over throttling of Opposition voices under the BJP government and has sought the intervention of Governor RK Bais in the matter.
“When we were in power, we gave equal opportunity to the Opposition to speak inside and outside the House. Unfortunately, there is no space for the opposition to speak freely under this government. Legislators are prevented from visiting their own constituencies and leaders are assaulted at their houses,” Sarkar, the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, said at the rally on Wednesday.
He said a six-member delegation of the CPI(M), including himself, met the governor recently and apprised him of the situation.
Sarkar, Tripura’s longest-serving CM, said he asked the governor if he was happy with the functioning of the present government, to which the latter remained silent, thereby indicating his displeasure.
Referring to recent attacks on journalists, doctors, paramedics, nurses and advocates, Sarkar claimed not a single person behind these incidents have been arrested.
“None of those responsible for these attacks was arrested. The government has turned the police into their puppet by not allowing them to work in a neutral manner and safeguarding law and order,” the former CM said.
Holding up placards accusing the government of murdering democracy and freedom, Sarkar, along with deputy leader of opposition Badal Choudhury and fellow party members Tapan Chakraborty, Sahid Choudhury and Sudhan Das, among others took part in the march.
Responding to his allegations at a press conference later in the evening, BJP spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said that BJP government gave people freedom from oppression during the Communist rule. He claimed crimes against women, political violence and number of unsolved cases had peaked under the erstwhile government and that was the reason why the Left was unseated from power.
Sarkar led four consecutive Left Front governments from 1998 before his party was voted out of power in March, 2018.
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