Agartala: Tripura Congress president Asish Kuna Saha on Friday slammed the state government, alleging that ruling party activists affiliated to different Puja organising bodies have been terrorising people in the name of collecting Puja subscriptions.
The Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee chief’s statement comes after a Congress leader was allegedly thrashed for refusing to pay an amount of Rs 5 lakh as Puja subscription fee. Saha alleged that the government has unleashed a “reign of terror”.
“We have already come across an incident at Bishalgarh where a person from Minority community and his son were inhumanly thrashed by Puja organisers for refusing to pay Rs 5 lakh as Puja subscription. A few days back, a tribal lady was harassed and abused by Puja organisers at Udaipur. All these incidents tell us as to how the law-and-order situation has failed to contain the coercive tactics of the Puja organisers,” Saha told reporters at a press conference at Congress Bhavan.
Dubbing these incidents as a failure of the Chief Minister, Saha said, “The Chief Minister had appealed to the Puja organisers to abstain from such activities. He had also instructed the cops to take strict action, but we haven’t seen any visible change in the system. CM’s appeals failed to draw any response from either side–the cops and the Puja organizers,” he claimed.
Saha also expressed his concerns over the Puja market and said, “People in general are already in distress. The opportunities for income are gradually diminishing. MGNREGA wages, which is one of the crucial income sources for the rural masses, has hit record low in the last couple of months. Apart from that, the government has also limited the pre-Puja projects that ensure flow of money into the hands of the people”.
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Lashing out at the government, the Congress President said, “Just before Durga Puja, the state government launched a special public distribution scheme through which the people were supposed to get a canvas bag full of essentials”.
He said that the Congress party had demanded a special gift for the people of Tripura before Durga Puja. “Accordingly, the state government has declared a subsided package for the beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System. But when they reached the fair price shops to avail the benefit of the scheme, they found that only Rs 113 subsidy has been attached to the mustard oil which is one of the components of the package. The Congress considers this package as a betrayal to the lakhs of beneficiaries of the PDS system. The government should have come up with something that could have helped the people in getting things sorted instead of lip service,” Saha pointed out.
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