The Communist Party of India – (Marxist) (CPI-M)’s trade union wing – Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) – brought out a protest rally in Agartala on Thursday against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (BJP-IPFT) Government in Tripura which recently, vide a circular, removed May Day from the list of official holidays.
May 1 will now no longer be a public holiday in the Government holiday list from 2019 in Tripura. Rather, it will be a restricted (optional) holiday. The rally was taken out of the CITU office and protesters raised slogans against the BJP-IPFT Government and marched through the streets of the capital city of Agartala.
CITU State secretary and MP, Sankar Prashad Datta, said that by removing May Day from the list of official holidays, “the anti-poor face of the BJP-IPFT Government has been exposed”. He added that the first Left Front Government in Tripura in 1978 declared the May Day as public holiday and for the last 40 years it was being observed as a Government holiday. “The new BJP Government has changed this and no more the International Labour Day will remain a public holiday from 2019 in Tripura as the saffron party does not have any respect for the working class of the State – the Government employees, teachers, etc,” fumed Datta.
Senior Minister in the BJP-IPFT Government Ratan Lal Nath said the International Labour Day is not meant for any political party, rather it is for the proletariat. “It is for this reason that the State Government has made it optional rather than an in-general holiday so that labourers working in tea gardens and jute mills who earlier did not get any holiday on May Day, will now be able to avail it.”
He added that those employees who wanted to observe May Day could do so as it has been made restricted holiday. “The Government employees are getting one day extra holiday as the day of Garia Puja, a festival celebrated by the tribal populace of Tripura, has been declared an official holiday.” The minister felt that the CITU was creating “unnecessary brouhaha” over the whole issue.