Updated: February 5, 2018 7:31:47 am
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday led a “Vijay Rath Yatra” in Agartala and addressed a party rally where he targeted Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, saying the people of Tripura want a change in government.
Before Rajnath took the stage at BT College ground, state BJP secretary Biplab Deb announced promises for the upcoming polls, including jobs for local residents, implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations, free education for women and free smartphones for youth. Tripura goes to polls on February 18.
“The enthusiasm I have seen during the yatra today from the BJP workers and the people of the state has confirmed my belief that Tripura wants a change in government. For 25 years, you have had the CPM in power. Even 10 years is enough to bring about changes in a state. Chhattisgarh was considered a backward state, Madhya Pradesh a bimaru state and Jharkhand as well. If you visit these states now you will see the massive strides that they have made in terms of development. I am surprised that the CPM has been voted to power for 25 years. There is such poverty in this state that the common man can’t even afford to buy a bicycle. I would like to ask the Chief Minister why so. Nobody can point a finger at any of the Union Ministers and say that there are corruption charges against them. I would like to ask the CM, can you say the same for your ministers?’’ Singh said.
He said that in independent India, if any government has paid attention to the Northeast it is the BJP government. “The first Prime Minister to pay attention to the Northeast was Atal Bihari Vajpayee and it was he who set up the DONER Ministry for the first time. We brought the Tripuri Express and the Rajdhani Express to Tripura. We are the ones who began the Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata bus service, cutting down your travel time to Kolkata,” he said.
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“We have a great relationship with Bangladesh and have effectively been able to clamp down on the insurgency in the region. And we have signed the Trans-Asian Railway Network agreement with Bangladesh so that you can reach Kolkata faster. It is only the BJP that is thinking of the Northeast’s development. If we come to power here, we will implement the 7th Pay Commission. Employees in Tripura still get paid according to the 4th Pay Commission,” the Home Minister said.
Claiming that the BJP’s main agenda was to provide “good governance, prosperity and security’’ to Tripura, Singh said the health cover announced in the Union Budget will ensure that nobody in the country dies without healthcare. Singh also announced that if the BJP comes to power, it will initiate a CBI inquiry into the death of local journalist Santanu Bhowmik who died last year covering clashes between workers of the tribal separatist group IPFT (now a BJP ally) and CPI(M) cadres.
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