The ruling CPI-M in Tripura on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu for “violating model code of conduct by distributing materials and delivering speech on religious lines”.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat, said Khandu, during an election campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Machmara in Tripura on Sunday, delivered a “speech on religious lines to unite all Buddhists at the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
“After the speech at a Buddhist shrine at Machmara (in Pabiachhara assembly constituency), Khandu has distributed packets of some clothing including an envelop supposedly containing money to each of the devotees assembled there,” said Dhar, also a member of the CPI-M central committee.
The CPI-M leader, to support his allegation, also submitted two compact discs (CD) of the entire event of Khandu’s election campaign in Machmara, 135 km from Agartala.
Meanwhile, the BJP criticised the CPI-M for politicising Khandu’s ‘personal visit’. According to the party, the Arunachal Chief Minister visited the Buddhist shrine at Machmara at the invitation of Buddhist monks.
“Khandu did not take part in any ongoing BJP election campaign during his one-day visit to Tripura. No BJP leader in Tripura met him,” BJP spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb told the media.
“This is the political bankruptcy of the Left party who dragged everything into politics,” he said.
Tripura BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are scheduled to visit Tripura for campaigning in support of the BJP.
Polling will be held for the 60-seat Tripura assembly on February 18.