THE CPI(M) Tripura state secretary, Bijan Dhar, has vehemently condemned the RSS-BJP’s blatant bid to vitiate the pre-poll scenario in Tripura by including the country’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, as an active participant in their vital party meeting held on January 14 in the official residence of union home minister Rajnath Singh.
At a press conference in Agartala on January 16, Dhar said that the attention of the Election Commission of India was drawn to a news item that the party meeting in the run-up to the upcoming assembly election in three northeastern states was attended by Doval, besides Rajnath Singh, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and RSS leader Krishna Gopal. While the CPI(M) Polit Bureau has already asked the Centre to issue clarification on the veracity of the news item, the state secretary voiced the party’s concern about the highly conspiratorial nature of an incumbent government. The National Security Advisor’s direct participation in a pre-poll party meeting of the RSS-BJP is worrying particularly because, the latter is going to form an alliance with the IPFT(NC) which is known to be a political mask of the outlawed secessionist outfit NLFT. Moreover, state BJP leaders provided political shelter to two people charge-sheeted in the killing of a newsman, by inducting them into the party.
The CPI(M) state secretary requested the Election Commission to promptly take appropriate legal steps against the violators of norms after a thorough investigation into the matter. Dhar reminded the people of the secret deal between the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the then TNV extremist leader Bijoy Hrangkhwal through the then Mizoram chief minister Lalthanhawala as mediator, during the run-up to the February 1988 assembly elections in Tripura. And according to the deal, in the span of three weeks about a hundred non-tribals all over Tripura were butchered by TNV extremists and in some places by masked men, alleged to be RAW personnel. This was taken as the pretext to the prime minister for promulgation of disturbed Area Act all over Tripura and to clamp military power in vote counting centres, so as to force the returning officer to declare a Congress candidate victorious changing his earlier declaration in favour of a CPI(M) candidate. All this resulted in the unleashing of a five-year semi-fascist jungle rule of the Congress-TUJS coalition in 1988.
At the press conference, Dhar vehemently opposed the ongoing hue and cry about the so-called irregularities in the electoral roll, published on January 5. Although as per rules, any bona fide voter can file any claims and objections on his or her part in proper procedure in connection with the final voter list up to the last date of submission of nomination, by not adhering to this procedure, the BJP is keen to make it a political issue against the Left Front. They are objecting to the presence of migrant workers, students at present staying outside the state and displaced voters due to marriage, etc in the list. Normally, they come home to exercise their franchise on the polling day. Dhar said that exactly similar allegations were made by the Congress party in earlier elections in the state following publications of the final voter list. He said it is up to the Election Commission to complete the poll process by next month, as public examinations are due to commence in the first week of March.
Bijan Dhar also condemned incidents of pre-planned undemocratic and intolerant spoiling of the CPI(M)’s campaign materials such as flags, flex, festoons by a section of the opposition, that have taken place in Rajnagar Sonamura, Kamalpur, Sadar and Jirania.