Opposition Congress, CPI(M) allege ‘vendetta’, Left Front forced to withdraw election agents from all counting halls after facing ‘attacks’ from supporters of ruling BJP
Agartala: As soon as the counting of the two Lok Sabha seats began in Tripura on Thursday morning, reports of violence and intimidation were reported from different parts of the state with the opposition CPI(M) and Congress alleging "vendetta" being meted out against them.
Opposition CPI(M), which had sitting MPs in both the Lok Sabha seats in Tripura for the last six consecutive Parliamentary elections, was forced to withdraw its election agents from all the counting halls after facing attacks allegedly from the supporters of the ruling BJP.
“The situation inside and outside the halls were not usual and our agents were beaten up in front of police, so we had to withdraw our agents. It was impossible for us to continue with the counting process, as no remedial measures were being taken,” CPI(M) West Tripura candidate Shankar Prasad Datta wrote in his letter to West Tripura constituency returning officer Vikash Singh.
Dutta later told reporters that 43 election agents of the party were injured in different parts of his constituency during counting on Thursday. He also alleged that BJP supporters resorted to arson at the Jirania sub-divisional office of CPI (M) in West Tripura district apart from several other cases of ransacking and violence.
Meanwhile, BJP candidate Pratima Bhowmik won the Tripura West Lok Sabha with a margin of 3,05,689 votes. In Tripura East, BJP's Rebati Kumar Tripura won with a margin of 2,04,290 votes.
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Thursday congratulated voters of the state for supporting the BJP and said it had been a historic victory of the party’s candidates in both the Lok Sabha seats of the state.
“This is a historic victory. It was possible due to the love for Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the people and the strategy of Amit Shah. Report card of BJP government in last five years has led to this result,” Deb told a press conference on Thursday evening.
Deb, who is also BJP’s state president in Tripura, said victory from his state has come despite several conspiracies hatched by enemies within BJP. “Our own people hatched conspiracies against us. There is no need of naming them. Their names will come to the fore automatically. People of Tripura have supported us all along despite these treacheries,” he said and warned that his party would soon take action against such leaders.
He also took potshots at opposition CPI (M) and said communists were wiped out from Tripura and rest of the country after the Lok Sabha election. “Communists have been wiped out of Tripura and the country. If they still don’t learn their lesson, nothing can be done. They are becoming increasingly irrelevant,” Deb said.
Meanwhile, two vehicles, including a car of a Congress leader, were set ablaze at Bishalgarh in Sepahijala district, about 30 km from capital Agartala, around 3 pm on Thursday afternoon.
“There was an incident of arson. Two vehicles were burnt at Bishalgarh. The incident occurred around 3 pm,” Bishalgarh sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Robert Darlong told reporters.
Tripura Congress president Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debburman took to Facebook on Thursday afternoon and alleged widespread violence during counting hours in the state. “I have never seen such post-poll violence that I am witnessing now in Tripura. Our workers are being beaten and properties destroyed and family members being threatened. In a democracy some win and some lose but to allow criminals and goons to run riot in this day and age is a sad state of affairs”, Pradyot wrote.
Speaking with EastMojo, Tripura inspector general of police Puneet Rastogi confirmed that there were reports of sporadic violence and said due actions are being taken in all these cases. “Some incidents have been reported. We are receiving some distress calls and we are responding to them. But nothing major has taken place as of now. But yes, there were some sporadic incidents,” the official added.