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Lenin statue toppled in Tripura: BJP ministers say culprits could be those ‘oppressed’ by Left

A statue of Lenin was destroyed at South Tripura’s Belonia town on Monday with the help of a bulldozer. The violence followed the BJP’s victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Tripura, where a 25-year Communist government was ousted.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2018 18:17 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Lenin statue,Lenin statue demolition,Left in Tripura
Kolkata: SUCI activists raise slogans to protest vandalising of Lenin's statue in Tripura, in Kolkata on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra (PTI3_6_2018_000089B)(PTI)

Union minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday said people who were “oppressed” during the 25-year Left rule in Tripura might have brought down a statue of communist icon Lenin in the state.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party or its ideology does not propagate violence but the Left does,” the BJP leader asserted, a day after a five-feet fibreglass statue of the former Soviet leader was pulled down by suspected BJP workers in South Tripura’s Belonia town, about 110 kilometres from Agartala.

“So many people were oppressed by the Left. Some of them must have this feeling of revenge,” Singh said.

Only time will tell who were responsible for razing the statue in the north-eastern state, where the BJP is set to form the government along with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), he added.

Union minister of state for home, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the government condemns violence, but statues of foreign leaders have no place in India.

“We condemn all kinds of violence and the state government is handling the situation. But I want to make it clear that statues of foreign leaders are not required in India. I don’t want to take anyone’s name but I want to say that we have no place for them,” Ahir said.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy defended the pulling down of the statue of “foreigner” Lenin, calling the late Russian leader “a terrorist”.

“Lenin was a foreigner. He was, in a way, a terrorist because the number of people he killed there (in Russia) after imposing dictatorship there. And (you) want statue of such a person erected in our country?,” Swamy said.

The Rajya Sabha member said that the statue was “not broken” and the BJP would send it to the office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday spoke to Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and Director-General of Police AK Shukla, amid reports of sporadic violence in the state, asking them to ensure peace till a new government is installed.

The Left has accused the BJP of unleashing violence in the state, after the latter ousted the 25-year rule of the communist party in the state.

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 18:12 IST