- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, June 10, 2022 : The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) on Friday threatened to hold a protest sitting on roads if the Election Commission of India does not initiate measures in ensuring peaceful, free and fair by-election on June 23 next.
AITC Tripura president Subal Bhowmik on Friday said that they had written to the Election Commission over constant attacks by the BJP-backed hooligans against Trinamool leaders and supporters.
“We have written to the Election Commission complaining against BJP’s ‘bike bahini’ that is taking off our party flags and festoons ahead of elections and attacking our workers. Election Commission officials held a meeting with all candidates on Thursday and the entire incident has been narrated. On Friday, we have submitted a letter as well. The free and fair elections are not possible under present circumstances,” said Bhowmik.
AITC Tripura in-charge Rajib Banerjee also said that if the commission fails to take any appropriate steps, the party would hit the streets. “How is there any scope of free and fair elections? Yesterday, a BJP leader in Mahabir Bagan threatened and used abusive language against our worker Ganesh Goala. BJP workers also tore off our party posters and flags in Darang and Bamancherra gram panchayat areas of the Surma Assembly constituency,” he said.
Banerjee also condemned BJP for endorsing the ‘goonda’ culture of the bike bahini. “BJP’s internal conflict has reached a point where BJP’s bike bahini members thrashed their own mandal president at Takarjala. How safe are Trinamool leaders then?” he asked.
The senior leader also quoted 2020 NCRB statistics to remind how Tripura recorded the highest incidents of political violence and rioting driven by political causes in the north-eastern regions.
“We will not tolerate this and will not be silent. We have informed the Election Commission of India and the officials in Tripura as well. If there is no action in the matter and there is one more major incident, we will sit on the roads to protest,” he said.
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev pointed out that TMC leaders had not resorted to any violence. “Even when our flags and festoons were being removed, our workers did not do anything. This is not what our party believes in because we believe in democracy. I would like to remind the administration that our petition to demand free and fair elections is still pending in the Supreme Court. If needed, we will revive the same,” she said.
In the press conference, barely 13 days left for the by-election in Tripura, former state vice-president of BJP’s OBC Morcha, Subrata Chowdhury, joined Tripura Pradesh Trinamool Congress on Friday.