Tripura: Opposition parties lead deputation seeking action against poll violence
Tripura opposition parties led a mass deputation in the office CEO

Agartala: Tripura Opposition political parties and citizens’ rights organizations on Saturday led a mass deputation in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer giving voice to the slogan of “My Vote My Right”.

The opposition parties submitted a written memorandum to the CEO seeking stringent actions against the reign of terror let loose allegedly by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Setting aside political affiliations, thousands of party activists carried national flags and placards with messages seeking voting rights.

Leaders of different parties under the banner of “Secular Democratic Forces” said this rally had nothing to do with any political party or front and this mass deputation wanted to raise the voice of voters who had so far suffered at the hands of miscreants whenever they tried to exercise their franchise.

Leader of the Opposition and CPI-M Politburo member Manik Sarkar, who attended the event, said, “When the election commission is saying that it will not tolerate any sort of violence that could influence the electoral process, a section of miscreants backed by the BJP are trying hard to throw a tough challenge before it. As soon as the polls were declared, a pre-scheduled political event came under attack at Ranirbazar and Jirania. According to reports, over 30 Congress workers suffered injuries during the ghastly attacks. CPI-M party offices had been vandalized, forcefully dismantled or set fire in different parts of the state. This is why all the democratic forces of the state have taken the initiative to make the Election Commission aware of the situation and seek prompt intervention.”

The senior CPI-M leader described the ECI’s action against certain police officers as a silver lining of optimism and hoped that such punitive measures would be taken whenever any dereliction of duty on the end of administration or police come into notice.

He said, “The ECI has tried to give a positive signal for us by removing three police officials. Our demand is simple: The voters must get the scope of exercising their adult franchise without any fear.”

A ten-member delegation of different political parties met Chief Electoral Officer Kiran Gitte, District Election Officer Debapriya Bardhan and SP West Tripura Sankar Debnath and submitted the written memorandum from the Secular Democratic Forces.

After the submission of the Memorandum, CPI-M state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury said, “We are here as representatives of the peace-loving people of Tripura who are ready to defend the civil and Democratic rights of people. In the last five years, democracy has been imperilled by the BJP and these elections have become an instrument to restore democracy in our state.”

“We have sought strict action against criminals who are involved in such electoral offences. We have also demanded action against the minister who had been seen publicly threatening the political activists of opposition parties. The ECI must prove whether it is working to materialize its slogan of ‘zero poll violence’ in reality or not,” he added. He also said the Chief Electoral Office had assured them of full cooperation.

Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman, who is also one of the leading faces of the rally, said, “Wherever we go, people ask me one simple question: can we cast our votes freely? Because for the last five years, we have not been able to vote. Putting aside our political differences, we are here as conscious citizens of the state who want free and fair elections.”

Also Read | Election Commission issues notification for Tripura Assembly election

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