Agartala: A day after the assembly elections were declared, all secular democratic parties of the state formed a single platform and urged voters to show unity at the grassroots level to dislodge the BJP from power.
The ruling party of TTAADC, TIPRA, did not send representatives to the joint press conference, but leaders of the Left parties and CPI(M) stated that the TIPRA leader would soon communicate his views to the state’s people through his social media handle.
Speaking at the Press Conference, Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman, said, “Opposition parties have united to resist fascist attacks on democratic institutions. There is fear among voters about their ability to exercise their franchise due to past experiences of false voting, booth jamming, and intimidation. Even the Chief Minister has won by-elections through unfair means.”
According to Barman, the BJP’s mockery of democracy has forced democratic forces in the state to unite and remove the party from power. He states that in addition to the CPIM and Congress, smaller political parties like RSP, All Indian Forward Bloc, Tripura People’s Party, and CPI have also extended their support to the Secular Democratic Forces. The goal is to restore democracy in the state. After the polls were declared, a series of violent attacks targeting opposition parties took place, including the death of a TIPRA worker, vandalism of a CPIM MLA’s vehicle, and an attack on an AICC leader. These incidents show that the BJP is in a state of fear as their support base in Tripura has decreased significantly, resorting to such violent acts.
CPIM state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury said that the “Mission Zero Poll” violence undertaken by the Election Commission of India specially for Tripura was an official recognition of the fact that all the polls had been turned into a farcical exercise. “After the announcement of the poll schedule, the ruling party has unleashed a reign of terror across the state.
The incidents that have taken place in the last 24 hours are not routine incidents. The BJP is challenging the election of the commission of India. A minister of the state cabinet is openly warning a national leader to organize street corners if he has guts. His statement is making it clear that no political party will be allowed to do any event”.
Taking all these into account, he said, both Congress and CPIM will jointly organize a mass deputation at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer on January 21.
“Both the parties have agreed to hold the protest without carrying any party flag. We will show maximum respect to our country and all our workers will carry national flags for the event. Through this event, we shall make an appeal to workers of both parties to put up resistance against the non-democratic forces”, said Chowdhury.
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On TIPRA’s Greater Tipraland demand, Chowdhury said, “Greater Tipraland demand largely speaks about the empowerment of TTAADC areas more than the separate state. On development grounds, we are with TIPRA. Even the manifesto that we are going to publish will talk elaborately about what we are going to do for the tribals of the state.”
He also clarified that his party would not endorse the separate state demand because of cultural and social integration.
“Separate state demand can’t be executed on Geographical, cultural and social grounds. But, on development and socio-cultural upliftment of the people living in hills we are very much positive.” he pointed out.
On being asked whether there would be a joint manifesto or the parties will come up with individual manifestos, Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman said, “A common minimum programme will be worked out very shortly. As the seat adjustment talks are underway, a common manifesto will also be drafted. We are working on this and regular meetings in that direction will take place.”
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