Agartala: Former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s security has been increased as the “BJP workers continued to obstruct” his tour to tribal dominated areas in Dhalai district since Monday, police said on Tuesday. Sarkar, now the Leader of Opposition in Tripura, accompanied by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Chief Whip in the assembly and former minister Tapan Chakraborty and party legislator Pravat Chowdhury, went to the tribal dominated areas in Dhalai district on Monday to see the crisis of food, rural jobs and other scarcities there.
“We have deployed huge additional security forces for Sarkar and other leaders’ visit to Gandachara and nearby areas. Like Monday, some people were shouting slogans against Sarkar on Tuesday also,” Dhalai district police chief Sudipta Das told IANS. A CPI-M leader, accompanying Sarkar, said that the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) workers continued the protest on Tuesday against the former Chief Minister’s visit to the tribal inhabited areas. “CPI-M Chief Whip in Lok Sabha on Monday talked to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb over phone on the issue and after that yesterday’s (Monday) obstruction by BJP-IPFT workers was withdrawn,” a CPI-M statement said here on Monday night.
It said: “BJP-IPFT workers undemocratically creating blockade against the opposition leader and other CPI-M legislators’ visit to the interior areas to prevent the exposure of huge crisis of food and other basics in the tribal populated areas.”
“Already, two tribals died due to starvation related diseases in Dhalai district. Hundreds of people are going to neighbouring Bangladesh for their survival. Rural jobs under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) are almost stopped. The BJP government remained mute spectator,” the CPI-M statement said.
The BJP, however, denied that any of its workers was involved in blockading Sarkar’s tour. “During the regime of CPI-M-led Left Front, people did not see the faces of Left leaders in the interior areas. Now the common people are agitating against their politics. No BJP worker is involved in the obstruction to Sarkar’s visit to different areas of Dhalai district,” BJP spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb told the media.