Left seeks sacking of Tripura BJP minister for ‘touching colleague indecently’
A video of Tripura BJP minister Manoj Kanti Deb putting his hand on cabinet colleague Santana Chakma’s waist on stage during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Agartala on February 9 has gone viral on social media.
Social welfare minister Chakma was seen in the video pushing away his hand quickly. She is the only woman minister in chief minister Biplab Deb’s nine-member cabinet.
Santana Chakma could not be reached for her reaction on the incident.
Manoj Kanti’s phone has been switched off and could not be contacted for his comments either. His office staff said he had gone to his constituency Kamalpur in Dhalai district for a field visit and will join office on February 14.
Meanwhile, the opposition Left Front has demanded that the chief minister sack the BJP minister from the cabinet if the latter doesn’t resign and also put him under arrest.
“The BJP minister touched the woman minister in an indecent manner in the prime minister’s presence on stage. Based on that, we can assume what is the status of law and order and women’s safety in the state. He should resign from his post and if he fails to do so, he must be sacked and arrested,” said veteran CPM leader Bijan Dhar.
The BJP said the CPM is trying to inflate into a big issue.
“The CPM should count the number of crimes against women that took place during their period rather than involving in cheap politics. Our party’s minister Santana Chakma hasn’t filed any complaint or sought action against her cabinet colleague. That was a petty issue, which they (opposition) are trying to make a big issue,” said BJP general secretary Pratima Bhowmik.
Tripura Chakma Rajya Samajik Parishad secretary Shantibikash Chakma said they would decide their future course of action after getting Santana Chakma’s reaction on the issue.