A “change of face” in the BJP-led dispensation in Tripura has failed to improve performance of the government, opposition CPI(M) leader Manik Sarkar claimed. A change of guard was effected in the northeastern state in May this year when Biplab Kumar Deb was replaced by Manik Saha as the chief minister. “We had not sought the ouster of the chief minister, who was a nonperformer and often courted controversy with his comments. The BJP leadership realised that people’s faith in the party was rapidly falling, prompting them to change the CM,” the CPI(M) leader said while addressing a rally at Bagma in Sepahijala district on Saturday.
The CPI(M) politburo member claimed that the overall political situation in Tripura has “worsened” even after a new chief minister has taken charge of the BJP-IPFT coalition government. “There has been no change in the overall performance of the government. By changing the chief minister, the BJP has validated the failure of the party-led government,” he said.
Sarkar also recalled how veteran Communist leader Dasarath Deb was allowed to run the state as the chief minister from 1993 to 1998 despite his failing health. “When Deb was undergoing treatment in Kolkata, he had wished to quit as the chief minister but the Left Front did not allow him to do so. The party appointed a deputy chief minister and a political secretary to assist the ailing chief minister. How could we change a leader like Dasarath Deb, who is regarded as the ‘crownless king’ of Tripura,” he said.
Considering Deb’s political acumen and people’s love and affection for him, he was allowed to remain in the post till his death in 1998, Sarkar said. Alleging that a “fascist rule” is prevailing in the state, the former chief minister claimed that voters are not being allowed to exercise their democratic rights in Tripura. Calling upon the people to oust the present government, Sarkar said “There must be preparations in every household to remove the present government or else life will be difficult.” The CPI (M) politburo member also criticised the Tipra Motha for remaining silent on the prevailing situation in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).
The Tipra Motha is the ruling party in the state’s lone tribal council. “It is reported that the BJP government is not releasing funds to the tribal council leading to a stalemate in development work for the past one year. But there is no agitation or programme demanding fund or development work”, he said.
However, the ruling BJP refuted the charge levelled by the opposition leader, saying Constitutional rights were intact in Tripura. BJP chief spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said on Sunday “Those who believe in a dictatorship are putting a question mark on democracy and the Constitution. They are raising blatant allegations out of frustration before the Assembly elections.” The state polls are due in Tripura early next year. PTI PS MM MM
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