TMC postpones Tripura events as Biplab govt imposes prohibitory orders
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has postponed all its scheduled programmes in Tripura, including a mega rally, after an order from the high court. It announced on Twitter late on Tuesday night that the Biplab Deb government has imposed Section 144 in the entire state, which bars any gathering of more than two people.
"As per due process of law we have sought permission from the @BJP4Tripura Govt for all our events, only for them to be denied repeatedly. This time they did not even respond to our applications and we had to approach the HC to know that S.144 was being imposed in the state," TMC said on Twitter.
"In line with the HC's decision not to interfere in policy decisions, we are postponing our scheduled events in Tripura. We will seek further clarity from the court on the limits to such arbitrary use of executive power," it said in a subsequent tweet.
However, news agency PTI quoted a TMC leader as saying that the party's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee will visit Tripura on Wednesday to attend 'Jogdaan karmasuchi' (joining programme).
The Tripura high court on Tuesday rejected the TMC plea to hold a rally in Agartala on September 22 which was slated to be addressed by Banerjee and other senior party leaders.
TMC, a Bengal-based party, has been accelerating plans to make inroads in the northeastern state before the 2023 assembly elections. Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are in power in at least 43 of 60 seats in the state assembly and led by Biplab Deb, the chief minister. Much like Bengal, Tripura was also once the bastion of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who ruled the state from 1978 to 1988 and again from 1993 to 2018.
TMC has been trying to hold a rally in state capital Agartala since the beginning of September. Earlier, the party had announced that Banerjee will be holding a rally on September 15 but that had to be postponed to September 22 after the Tripura Police refused to grant permission. TMC leader Subal Bhowmik had moved the court on September 20 after state police once again refused to grant permission for Wednesday’s rally. However, a single bench justice Arindam Lodh rejected TMC’s petition declining to interfere in rules brought by the administration.
The Tripura government imposed prohibitory orders on meetings or gatherings. West Tripura district magistrate Rajib Datta issued a notification barring political gatherings from September 21 till November 4 citing “an apprehension” that political activists might attempt mischief and lead to violence.
Banerjee, who is the nephew of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, has been visiting Tripura since August this year. Sushmita Dev, who switched over from Congress to the TMC, has also been actively touring the state as she gears up for Rajya Sabha by-elections.