May 22, 2022

BJP Replaces Tripura CM to Hide Failures

Haripada Das

IN a sudden move, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb tendered his resignation to the governor on May 14. On the same day, a batch of central BJP leaders flew to Agartala, arranged a meeting of their legislature party to formally elect a new leader. According to media reports, after much commotion, state president of the party Manik Saha was elected as the leader of the legislature party and was sworn in as chief minister the following day.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah, during their visits to the state, would attribute Deb as one of the “energetic, untiring and dedicated” chief ministers who “accomplished a milestone of development” in the state as a head of the “double-engine” government. The reason behind the compulsion of the BJP high command to take such an unpleasant decision to replace the chief minister, that too just 10 months prior to the assembly polls, was not explicitly expressed by them. But the democratic and secular-minded peaceful people of the state have no ambiguity about it.    

During the last 50 months of the BJP rule, Biplab Kumar Deb acquired notoriety of reigning a tyrannical fascistic rule that infuriated all sections of the people. He has crucified democracy in the state, reduced all the elections under his tenure to complete mockery. Being the home minister of the state, he patronised the BJP’s bike-ridden gangs throughout the state to unleash worst type of terror targeting the innumerable number of opposition party leaders, workers and supporters. Reading his remote signal, they carried out demolishing, ransacking and looting of the houses of opposition supporters, opposition party offices, particularly the CPI(M), with an aim to immobilise the opposition parties. Hardly any culprit has been arrested in any of these countless incidents of attacks. The police have the audacity to comment, “It’s a BJP regime, when it falls then come to file FIR against BJP”, thanks to state home minister Biplab Kumar Deb.  

These miscreant gangs have attacked various sections of the society. Government officials, intellectuals, doctors, nurses, advocates, media persons, even a section of sincere police are being subjected to suffer onslaughts at the hands of these gangs. Syndicate-raj has got its roots in every cell of the government. 

The BJP came to power by creating illusions among the people through the 299 promises made in their so-called ‘Vision Document’ prior to the 2018 assembly elections. After more than four years of its regime, all these golden promises proved nothing but hoax. Unemployment has touched its peak in the state. Corruption and nepotism have made inroads into every cell of the government. Every day local newspapers are dishing out stories of misappropriation of hundreds of crores of MGNREGA funds and collection of ransom for release of PMAY funds in each of the blocks. But the government has uttered not a single word in rebuttal. Many BJP local leaders are involved in narcotic drug trade. Thus, the so-called slogan of the chief minister of making Tripura a ‘drug-free’ state has become ridiculous.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the state health service was languishing for want of minimum medical appliances for treatment to patients. Hospitals were running with serious shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedics, etc. The oxygen supply system which is a major requirement for treatment of Covid patients remained collapsed in the GBP Hospital, the main hospital of the state, for a long period causing death of many patients. There was a public outcry for urgent appointment of required number of staff to manage the situation. But all the urges fell on the deaf ears of Biplab Kumar Deb, who was the health minister at that time.

While a sizeable part of the state exchequer has been drained out to publicise the empty claims of achievements of the government with the images of both the prime minister and the chief minister on the advertisements, and on conducting various festivals throughout the year, the major section of the people are passing days in extreme hardship due to scarcity of food and work. MGNREGA wages of the workers are being squeezed by the BJP leaders. Man-days provided per year are very less in number. The wages are being held up for months together. There are saddest incidents of parents being compelled to sell their beloved kids because of extreme financial hardship.  Hardly a day passes, when road-blockade in various points of the state doesn’t take place demanding water, electricity, repair of roads, etc. The quantum of market loan borrowed by the government during four years of its rule stood more than double the amount left by the Left Front government accumulated since the Congress rule in the state. 

The Left parties, particularly the CPI(M), were highlighting these failures of the government before the people and were mounting pressure on the government on urgent pro-people demands. They also undertook protests on local issues and met in mass deputations with local authorities.  But the intolerant and boastful chief minister instead of appreciating the demands for providing minimum relief to the distressed people, sent police with batons and water cannons to thwart the demonstrations and filed many FIRs against the leaders of the Party including sitting and former MLAs, MPs, leader of opposition etc. The democratic-minded people of the state did not accept such vindictive steps of the government. 

Some of the honest and law-abiding officials, both in police and civil administrations, were unhappy with the government for complying with unlawful and unethical verbal directions of Biplab Kumar Deb. There is a lack of trustworthiness among the cabinet members also. Till now three BJP MLAs had resigned from the assembly as well as from the party protesting authoritarian style of functioning of the chief minister. The foul comments that the chief minister makes very often lowered the dignity of the state and embarrassed the central party leadership repeatedly. Thus the inside atmosphere both in government and the party was on the verge of explosion.  

The CPI(M) Tripura state secretariat, in a statement, said that this episode of change of chief minister is nothing but a sign of profound weakness, both on the part of the government as well as of the party. Because of failure in all spheres, the people lost confidence and trust in this government. This is a shrewd move to replace the chief minister to divert attention of the people from their all-round failure. But this move would not be able to pacify the anger, anguish and resentment of the people. The people would decide the future course on their own, the statement said.

How the new chief minister, Manik Saha will perform cannot be answered right now. But being attached with a humanitarian profession like a physician, the people of the state witnessed that he remained indifferent all along to the series of inhuman incidents of attacks carried on by the BJP miscreants when he was the state president of the party. Nor did he utter a word of condemnation on all these attacks. In the capacity of the state president of the ruling party, he did not take any step to restrain the unruly elements of his party and thereby abetted the perpetrators. Also, he had taken no step to contain rampant corruption resorted to by a section of BJP workers by squeezing shares of the beneficiaries in various government schemes. 

Protesting against ongoing fascistic terror in the state, against the evil designs to strangulate voices of the opposition, lynching of democracy, denial of civil liberties, snatching away of the right to franchise, assault on the media persons, setting in one party authoritarian rule, inflicting unthinkable crisis on the livelihood of the common people who are facing severe scarcity of food and work, collapse of developmental works in the state, creating total disarray in supply of drinking water, irrigation water, providing electricity service, maintaining road communications, mismanagement of education and health services, spiraling price rise of the essential commodities and ongoing rampant corruptions etc., the state secretariat of the CPI(M) decided to boycott the swearing-in ceremony of the new chief minister on May 15.

Thus, so long as the BJP is in the helm of the power, the change of chief minister is immaterial to the people of Tripura. The people would certainly play due role to find out suitable path to come out of this tyrannical and out-and-out anti-people regime led by the BJP.