Royals duly respected, says Tripura BJP after row over Ujjayanta Palace
The Tripura BJP said the royal family and their history have been given due respect under the saffron rule while their structures were demolished during the previous Left regime
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) in Tripura on Sunday said that the state’s royal family and their history have been given due respect under the saffron rule, and alleged that their structures were demolished during the previous Left regime. The party was responding to the criticism over the government hosting a dinner for a G20 delegation at the Durbar Hall of Ujjayanta Palace, erstwhile Tripura’s royal abode, earlier this month.
A 150-member G20 delegation from China, Argentina, Russia, USA, UK, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Morocco, Tanzania and Ethiopia and many Indian scientists and officials of the Finance Ministry and office of the scientific advisor to the Prime Minister visited Tripura to join a science conclave on clean energy for a green future in the first week of April.
“The royals didn’t get respect during the previous Left Front era. Their respect has started only after the BJP came to power. Earlier, none opened their mouth during the Left Front regime and now, people can open their mouths. It’s because rule of Ravana was replaced by the rule of Rama,” said BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee.
Responding to BJP allegations, Communist Party of India (Marxist) veteran leader Pabitra Kar said, “The royal heritage sites like Ujjayanta Palace, Neermahal and others have been preserved during the Left regime. What new things have been done by the BJP in these five years?”
Earlier, criticising the state government for organising G20 dinner at the historic palace, Maharaj Kumari Pragya Debburman, head of the Tripura chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a non-profit charitable organisation, in a press communique said that they should respect sentiments of different communities and religious customs of Tripura people.
“...many persons are not aware but an official dinner was hosted at the Ujjayanta Palace Durbar Hall for a few top delegates. As the name indicates, the Durbar Hall was not merely a room but a historical and sacred place, and has been held dearly, is close to the people of the state and has been respected for over 122 years, by one and all. It was used for the coronation/installation ceremony of the rulers of Tripura which were religious in nature and for important, official purposes and never entertainment or dining,” Pragya said.
Pragya is also the elder sister of royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, the chief of TIPRA Motha, the main opposition party in the state.She contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 for East parliamentary seat on a Congress ticket.
“Unfortunately, the identity of the Durbar Hall is being tarnished now by the state government and this has shocked us. On the one hand, they speak of respecting our centuries-old Indian culture, the visionary Maharajas and our rich historic past but on the other hand, discrete parties are held – such hypocrisy must be known and be condemned by the people”, she said.
Pragya also alleged that a statue was placed at the Durbar Hall in the place of royal throne in the royal period and the dining arrangement shows disrespect to heritage and customary.
Ujjayanta Palace was built in 1901 by the then maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya Bahadur. The palace was purchased by the state government to use as the state Legislative Assembly till July 2011. Currently, the palace is serving as the state museum.
There was no immediate reaction from the CPI (M).