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Second Lenin Statue Toppled in 2 Days in Tripura as BJP-Left Trade Barbs

The incidents of vandalism have caused a war of words between the BJP and the opposition, with several BJP ministers defending the acts and saying that it was a mark of protest against communism.

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Updated:March 6, 2018, 11:57 PM IST
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Second Lenin Statue Toppled in 2 Days in Tripura as BJP-Left Trade Barbs
The toppled statue at Sabroom Motor Stand in Tripura on Tuesday.
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Another statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, was razed to the ground by a mob in Tripura on Tuesday. This is the second such incident in two days after the BJP stormed to power in the state that was a Left bastion.

On Monday, a group of alleged BJP supporters had brought down a sculpture of the Communist revolutionary leader in the heart of Belonia town in the southern part of the state while chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai.

Tuesday's incident took place in Sabroom town, also in south Tripura. Governor Tathagata Roy said it was a case of vandalism and not rioting. He said the district administration has been directed to take action.

The incidents have caused a war of words between the BJP and the opposition, with several BJP ministers defending the acts and saying that it was a mark of protest against communism.

A photo of Monday’s incident was shared by BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Twitter, who wrote, "People taking down Lenin’s statue ... not in Russia; it is in Tripura. ‘Chalo Paltai' (sic)." The leader later deleted the tweet.

Tathagata Roy had also tweeted that a newly elected government was within its right to undo what the previous government had done. "What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa," Roy wrote.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said the late Russian leader was "a terrorist" and questioned if the statue of such a person could be installed in India.

Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, Swamy also suggested the Communist leaders should install Lenin's statue inside their party headquarters and "worship" him if they want.

"Lenin was a foreigner. He was, in a way, a terrorist because the number of people he killed there (in Russia) after imposing dictatorship there. And (you) want statue of such a person erected in our country?" Swamy asked.

Union minister Giriraj Singh took the defense to another level and said people who were "oppressed" during the Left's 25-year rule in Tripura might have brought down a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin in the state.

On the other hand, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury criticised the BJP-RSS and urged the democratic and secular forces of the country to come together against the “fascist onslaught” of the saffron regime.

Condemning the incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, the kind of “divisive politics” that is vandalising Lenin’s statue today, will soon target those of Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Swami Vivekananda.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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