Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of destroying democratic rights in the State, Sarkar, who served as the Chief Minister for 20 years since 1998, told a press conference at the CPI (M) State headquarters that ‘individual rights, civil liberties and human rights have been damaged under BJP rule’.
Sarkar, who served as Chief Minister for 20 years since 1998, told a press conference at CPI (M) state headquarters that a series of clashes centering forthcoming three-tier panchayat by-polls.
Sarkar also alleged massive political violence on Opposition supporters, especially those from CPI (M), and said ruling BJP activists are trying to ‘silence the voice of the Opposition’.
“The BJP grabbed power by hatching conspiracies and ploys. People are gradually realizing it now,” Manik Sarkar said and added that common people wouldn’t stay silent for long.
“Elected public representatives were forced to resign from their positions. Over 50 per cent of seats in three-tier Panchayat bodies went vacant within five months of the new Government. By-election was announced but Opposition supporters were barred from submitting nomination papers. Those who collected nomination papers were attacked and their houses ransacked. This is an unnatural by-election,” he said.
The four-time Chief Minister appealed to the BJP-IPFT Government in Tripura to ‘restore peace’ and ensure that people can exercise their democratic rights without fear. He also sought the State Election Commission to reschedule by-election for Panchayat bodies to make sure that all those who want to submit nomination and contest can do so.
“There is no work in the villages and the rural people are suffering from severe food crisis. Many of them are crossing the international border into Bangladesh to collect forest products and sell them for a living. The new Government has to take a stand on the issue,” Sarkar further said.