Tripura Opposition leader and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar faced protests during a poll campaign rally at Mohanbhog in Sepahijala district on Thursday. Sarkar had to step back from the venue as ‘Manik Sarkar Go Back’ slogans were raised by a mob of BJP supporters, Tripura CPI (M) secretary Goutam Das said here today.
“Manik Sarkar visited Taibandal and Mohanbhog in Sepahijala district yesterday. His second rally at Mohanbhog was disrupted by a band of BJP goons who stopped people from gathering at the venue. They raised slogans saying Manik Sarkar go back. Police and paramilitary personnel were present on the spot but they remained inactive,” Das told reporters in a press conference here this morning.
The Communist party has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) and sought recourse against political violence.
Earlier on Wednesday, CPI (M) Lok Sabha candidate for West Tripura constituency Shankar Prasad Dutta accused BJP of attacking him during poll rallies in different parts of the state. The party’s East Tripura candidate Jitendra Chaudhury also alleged political attacks from BJP during the campaign.
Both Dutta and Chaudhury are sitting Lok Sabha MPs from Tripura.
CPI (M) state secretary Das today reiterated the issue and said Dutta was attacked four times in last one week. Over 1,600 party workers were attacked in different districts of Tripura in last one year of BJP-IPFT rule.
“Tripura is reeling under acute fear. There is no rule of law and democracy was strangulated by BJP,” Goutam Das said.
On Wednesday evening, Congress Lok Sabha candidate (West Tripura) Subal Bhowmik’s convoy came under attack at Melaghar in Sepahijala district, 50 Km from here.
Bhowmik, who was senior vice president of BJP in Tripura, joined Congress last week alleging failure of the BJP-IPFT government in fulfilling public aspirations.
“I was out on poll campaign as per predetermined schedule at Gomati and Sepahijala districts. My car was attacked by BJP goons at Indira Nagar village this evening. I was rescued by police personnel,” Bhowmik told reporters.
The BJP candidate said a band of 70 BJP supporters engaged in clash with Congress supporters who joined his convoy.
Subal Bhowmik accused Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb of inciting political violence ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Bhowmik also expressed discontent at the role of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti and said he would write against the CEO to Election Commission if he failed to take effective steps against poll violence.
Reacting to allegations of political violence from opposition candidates, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “There was no BJP supporter in the protest. Common people showed black flags and raised slogans against Manik Sarkar. It is a democratic protest. Communists will become further detached in the coming days”.