Agartala: The ‘VIP treatment’ of former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has triggered a fresh political slugfest between the opposition Congress and the ruling BJP, which Congress sees as a ‘misuse’ of power. The BJP, on the other hand, considers that the former CM is eligible for the privileges.
Addressing a press conference at the Tripura Pradesh Congress Bhavan, former minister Sudip Roy Barman said, “Despite the fact that former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb is just an MLA right now, he is entitled to all the facilities and privileges that he once used to enjoy as the Chief Minister of the state. A cavalcade consisting of ten to twelve vehicles, high-end security arrangements, frequent helicopter rides to different parts of the state and most importantly accommodation in the lavish CM’s residence; all these undue privileges are being awarded to a normal MLA. And, why the administration is silent knowing all these is a mystery for us”.
Accusing the former Chief Minister of violating the protocols to “run a parallel administration,” Barman urged the DGP Tripura Police and Chief Secretary to withdraw all these facilities.
“The Pradesh Congress is making a demand to the DGP Tripura police and Chief Secretary seeking his intervention to withdraw all the undue entitlements of Deb. The District Magistrates and SPs are not bound to receive Deb during his visits. But, they are being forced to do that, we are still finding it very hard as to how is being given free hands to do this or is he trying to run a parallel administration. Cancelling college classes, students are being forced to attend interaction programmes with Biplab Kumar Deb; the government must clarify on what capacity he is holding such sessions,” asked Barman.
Barman also requested Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha to take a tough stand against this misuse of power. “If you don’t take action, people will consider you as a prototype of the previous CM. The way exploited his chair for large scale corruption; we don’t want to see you follow the suit. I feel the CM tried to make a subtle statement by taking minimal security cover as we saw him during the visit to flood-affected areas, but power-hungry people like Biplab Kumar Deb shall never understand that,” he added.
Reacting sharply to the issue, BJP Chief Spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said, “The Congress leaders are frustrated as they see no revival chances in near future and thus in search of some space they are making such statements devoid of factual ground. Former CM Biplab Kumar Deb is a Y-Plus category protectee, and he is entitled to this security cover ever since he assumed the charge of state BJP President in 2016. Whether the security cover will be withdrawn or not, the matter lies with the Ministry of Home. Knowing everything beforehand, making such statements does not make any sense.”
Chakraborty also countered Baraman’s allegation of parallel administration and said that BJP is different from Congress where lobbyism and infighting are at their peak. “Deb has set an example in Tripura politics by stepping down from the top post to pave the way for his successor. He made this sacrifice to strengthen the party’s organisation for the forthcoming assembly elections. The former Minister may have stayed in the BJP for a while but failed completely to understand the spirit of the BJP. He still feels the BJP is like Congress or Trinamool Congress that is ideologically bankrupt.”
Hitting out at the Congress, Chakraborty said, “People did not forget the dark alliance period of 1988 to 93. Those dark days are still haunting people, which is why despite repeated attempts Congress failed to dislodge the CPIM from power while the BJP succeeded in just a few years of hard toil.”
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