Manik Sarkar
Former Tripura CM Manik Sarkar.

Former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Tuesday said the BJP government in the state was attacking democracy and democratic activities.

“They are trying to establish one party rule in Tripura,” Sarkar said after visiting an area where the West Trupura district administration on Monday bulldozed seven offices of CPI-M and Congress as these were built on government land.

West Tripura District Magistrate Milind Dharmrao Ramteke said on Tuesday that they demolished three more party offices, one each of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS).

“These three offices were built on government lands. Demolition of party offices built on government lands would continue in the coming days as per the government’s decision,” Ramteke told the media.

According to Ramteke, who is also Additional Secretary to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, there were 104 such illegally-constructed offices of various political parties in West Tripura district alone.

The demolition drive was carried out amid strong “objections and criticism” from the opposition, including the CPI-M, Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal-based party.

Sarkar said after the announcement of the February 18 Assembly polls results on March 3, the BJP government continued its attacks on innocents, opposition partie and hundreds of their party offices.

“Before demolition of party offices built 60-70 years ago, the government should talk to the concerned political parties. Alternative arrangements of the bulldozed party offices can be done,” said Sarkar, who was accompanied by other senior party leaders.

“The BJP government has been trying to curb the rights of the workers and working class people. These are extremely undemocratic,” remarked Sarkar, the Opposition leader in Tripura.

The BJP denied Sarkar’s allegations, saying these political party offices were constructed illegally on the government lands.

“In the constitution of the CPI-M, there is no word called ‘democracy’, hence the Communist leaders should not speak about democracy. During Sarkar’s tenure, these political party offices were built with the then ruling party’s support,” BJP spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb told the media.

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