Former Tripura health minister and BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman has courted controversy by organising a dinner party, reportedly attended by 80 people, in violation of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The feast was held at the MLA hostel near Buddha Mandir in Agartala on July 26. Sources said the party continued till midnight.
When contacted, Barman claimed he had done “nothing wrong”.
“A section of the people who are afraid of losing their chair are spreading misinformation against me. This is an attempt to malign my image. I have done nothing wrong,” he said.
“I am staying at the MLA Hostel in Agartala, and it (party) was a private affair. No one from outside came for the dinner party. Some of my colleagues who stay in the MLA Hostel attended it and there was no violation of lockdown,” he added.
Reacting to the controversy, Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “I heard about the matter in the media. I hope the government will inquire and get more details.”
Barman is an influential leader in the state. In 2019, all departments held by him -- Public Works department, Health & Family Welfare, Science, Technology & Environment, Industry & Commerce (IT) -- were allocated to chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb and deputy CM Jishnu Dev Varma.
74% Of Rural Indians Satisfied With Modi Govt’s Steps To Fight COVID-19 Pandemic
Barman was earlier with the Congress but later joined the Trinamool Congress. After differences with the TMC leadership, he joined the BJP in 2017.
He had recently voiced concerns over suspected community transmission of Covid-19 in Tripura, and had written to the CM to take more steps to contain the spread.