National

Tripura Govt Starts Demolition Of 'Illegal' Party Offices of Congress and CPI(M)

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
2524
| May 8 , 2018 , 11:30 IST

The new BJP government in Tripura on Monday began the demolitions of 'illegal' political offices and makeshift structures build on government land across the state, drawing flak from Opposition parties.

Notices had earlier been served to nearly 300 political offices belonging to the CPI(M), Congress, other regional parties as well as some offices of the ruling BJP.

The decision to demolish all the unauthorised offices of political parties, syndicates and trade unions had been taken at a recent state cabinet meeting.

“After field survey it has been found that some of the party offices are built on government khas/departmental land, so you are hereby directed to vacate the concerned party offices built on the government land within seven days of receipt of this letter,” a letter from the Tripura government, dated April 17, 2018, read.

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State Revenue Minister NC Debbarma and president of ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) quoted by News18 said, “They were given prior notice but they didn’t vacate the premises. Therefore, we acted as per law. They had encroached upon the premises for the last several years and that is not right.”

Regarding the Opposition leaders blaming the government for not calling an all-party meeting before beginning the demotions, Debbarma said, “There was no need for an all-party meeting. We demolished the structures in compliance with all rules and regulations.”

The Congress in Tripura slammed the demolition drive as a sign of 'military rule' in the state.

“Ever since the BJP formed the government in Tripura, there is anarchy. The ruling government is acting like a dictator. Ideally, they should have called for an all-party meeting. Recently, we built a party office at Champaknagar with an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh. Now they will demolish that too. We have never faced such a situation in Tripura before,” state Congress President Birajit Sinha.

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Meanwhile, CPI(M)’s Pravat Chowdhury threatened to take the matter to court.

“The notices were issued to party offices that existed for over 30-40 years. How can they demolish them just like that? They are trying to gag the democratic voices of Tripura,” he said.

“We are consulting our lawyers and will soon move the Tripura High Court. I am sure we will get justice. People in Tripura are already fed up with the BJP government. They now realize that they voted for the wrong party. Even NC Debbarma, who once fought for Twipraland, has gone silent on that issue. They are only hungry for power and nothing else,” Chowdhury alleged.

BJP MLA from Agartala, Ashis Kumar Saha defended the demolitions.

“There is nothing wrong if the government is taking action against illegal structures built by political parties on government land. The previous government allowed such illegal activities but we will not allow it in Tripura anymore. We are here to clean the entire system that was knee-deep in corruption. The state government wants to reclaim these lands for developmental activities,” said Saha.