Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 10:48 IST
CPIM cadre said the windows of their office were broken in 2018 after the election result but haven’t been repaired yet since they were unable to enter the office all these years. (News18)
Left workers say the party has been unable to open and operate its offices in the state, while TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee accuses BJP of attacking its workers and vandalising their vehicles
In 2018, just after the BJP came to power in Tripura, a Lenin statue was broken in Bilonia area. The incident created such a stir in the state that then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had to intervene to ask the Governor and police to ensure peace.
Since then, the Left has accused the BJP of vandalising their offices and not letting workers operate from the premises.
Cut to the 2021 municipal polls, the Opposition accused BJP of intimidating their leaders and workers. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) claimed that its leaders, including All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, were attacked.
In battlefield Tripura, which is all set for elections on February 16, News18 delves into whether law and order is still an electoral issue on the ground as the Opposition corners the BJP once again.
On the way to Tripura’s Udaipur, News18 came across a two-storied CPIM office on the main road in Bisramgunj of Charilam constituency whose windows were broken. Asked about the damage, Arun Dev Burma — a party cadre for almost 30 years — said: “These windows were broken in 2018 after the election result. You may be wondering why we have not yet repaired it. This is because for the last four years, we could not even enter this office. The police did not help us. They have unleashed terror in the last four years.”
Another worker, Palas Dev Burman, said: “We came on August 15 last year. Now, it’s election time and everything is under the Election Commission (EC) so that’s why may be till now they have not tried to intimidate us.”
A woman who did not want to disclose her identity said: “My mother was a CPIM worker. She had to sell our house and now stays in Agartala.”
Speaking to News18, former chief minister Manik Sarkar said: “This is fascism. They do whatever they feel like. Police does not do anything, they don’t register cases.”
Tipra Motha chief Pradyot Manikya echoed the sentiment. “Law and order is a serious issue. The last four years were violent. The BJP has made police their toys. All elections have been violent after 2018.”
TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee said several party workers were attacked in the state. “Earlier, when we used to come to Tripura, we would be attacked brutally and our cars would be vandalised. MP Sushmita Dev, despite being a woman and parliamentarian, was not spared. Her car was vandalised. Not just this, many party workers have been put behind bars under false cases.”
As the Opposition mounted a joint attack on the BJP, the party dismissed the allegations of poor law and order in the state.
Speaking to News18, party’s Tripura chief Rajib Bhattacharya lashed out at the Opposition and said: “The CPIM has forgotten what it used to do. Eleven of our party workers died before 2018. The TMC is levelling such allegations. What do they do in Bengal? There has been development in Tripura. According to statistics, the law and order here is good.”
While the political bickering continues, locals feel whoever comes to power should ensure peace and safety.
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