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

Notices were served to nearly 300 political offices belonging to CPI(M), Congress and other regional parties across Tripura. The decision to demolish all unauthorised offices of political parties, syndicates and trade unions was taken at a state recent cabinet meeting.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 7, 2018, 11:39 PM IST
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Tripura Govt Starts Demolishing 'Illegal' Party Offices of Congress and CPI(M)
File photo of Tripura BJP chief Biplab Deb (Image: Facebook)
Kolkata: The BJP government in Tripura on Monday started demolishing “illegal” political offices and makeshift structures built on government land across the state, drawing much flak from opposition parties.

Notices were served to nearly 300 political offices belonging to CPI(M), Congress and other regional parties across Tripura.

The decision to demolish all unauthorised offices of political parties, syndicates and trade unions was taken at a state recent cabinet meeting. It was learnt that the demolition drive would be taken up against some offices of the ruling BJP as well.

“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 issued by the Tripura government, dated April 17, 2018, read.

Speaking to News18, state Revenue Minister NC Debbarma and president of ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) 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.”

Told that opposition leaders were blaming the government for not calling an all-party meeting before initiating the demolition drive, Debbarma said, “There was no need for an all-party meeting. We demolished the structures in compliance with all rules and regulations.”

Calling the move a sign of ‘military rule’ in Tripura, state Congress President Birajit Sinha said, “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.”

CPI(M)’s Pravat Chowdhury threatened to move court against the demolition drive. “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.

Rubbishing all charges, BJP MLA from Agartala, Ashis Kumar Saha said, “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.”

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