Agartala: Hours after Tripura MP Pratima Bhoumik took oath as a minister of state (MoS) in the reshuffled Union Cabinet on Wednesday, the office of opposition CPI-M was set on fire allegedly by supporters of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Bara Narayan area of West Tripura district.

The area falls in Dhanpur assembly constituency from where Bhoumik contested the last assembly elections in 2018.

Meanwhile, the CPIM state secretariat through a press statement has condemned the incident. “The CPI-M state secretariat is strongly condemning and protesting the fascist attack, vandalism and arson by the miscreants of the ruling BJP at the CPI-M offices at Dhanpur and Bara Narayan in Sonamura sub-division last evening,” the press release read.

The opposition party also alleged that soon after Bhoumik’s was sworn as a Union MoS in Delhi, the supporters of the saffron party stormed the CPI-M office and vandalised it before setting it on fire.

“…they marched from there, broke the door of Dhanpur CPI-M office, poured petrol and set it on fire,” the CPI-M state body said.

The party office in Dhanpur, which is the constituency of Manik Sarkar, the leader of opposition in Tripura, had remained closed since the last assembly elections.

“A few days ago, the office was reopened by CPI-M workers and supporters. Soon after Pratima Bhoumik was sworn in at the Centre, the party’s offices were attacked again”, the press statement read.

The state secretariat further called on all pro-democracy people to come forward in the struggle for freedom of expression, constitutional right, rule of law against BJP’s fascist attack on democracy, restoration of democracy.

Also read | These are the portfolios of ministers from Northeast in Modi Cabinet 2.0

Pratima Bhoumik first contested in the 1998 assembly elections and again in 2018. Bhoumik was defeated by former CM Manik Sarkar in both the elections.

Reacting to the incident, BJP state vice-president Rajib Bhattacharjee said that the arson in the CPI-M party office was done by supporters of the party to malign the image of the ruling BJP-IPFT government.

“The ‘double-engine’ government here is working with full dedication and with the elevation of the MP Pratima Bhoumik to the Union ministry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has entrusted the state. The CPI-M does not want the development to continue, hence they have conspired the attack on their party office only to malign the party here,” Bhattacharjee said.

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