Tripura: Eye on polls, BJP to hold rally against killing of tribal activists today
The event, likely to be addressed by Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, will also address the alleged deprivation of tribal communities in the state over the years.india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 10:00 IST
Two days after luring six Trinamool MLAs into the saffron fold, the BJP is all set to organise a protest rally against the killing of three tribal party activists allegedly by supporters of the state’s Left Front regime on Wednesday.
The event, likely to be addressed by Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, will also address the alleged deprivation of tribal communities in the state over the years. The fact that this is the first time a mainstream party is holding such a huge rally for the state’s indigenous people serves as an indication of the BJP’s plans for the 2018 assembly polls.
“The CPI(M) has unleashed terror in the state, fearing losses in the next election. They are tense about BJP’s growing popularity, and because of this, they have masterminded attacks on BJP leaders. This is why three of our activists were killed,” said state BJP president Biplab Deb.
One of the three victims, a teenage girl, was raped and murdered at Dhanpur – chief minister Manik Sarkar’s constituency – two months ago. She was the sister of a local BJP member. The other two are Chanmohan Tripura, a tribal BJP leader who was beaten to death allegedly by CPI(M) members at Gandacherra in Dhalai district last December, and Nishikanta Chakma, who died in a clash between BJP and Left workers at Chailengta on July 25.
The BJP is banking on Tripura’s tribal communities, which account for a little over 30% of its population, to dethrone the state’s two-decade-old communist government. Of the 60 assembly seats, 20 are reserved for scheduled tribes – comprising 19 indigenous communities – and 10 for non-tribal scheduled castes.
State BJP in-charge Sunil Deodhar has sought the support of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) to defeat the state’s communist government. Though Deodhar expressed reservations over the group’s demand for a separate Tipraland state, he promised greater powers to the IPFT if the BJP is voted in.
In previous attempts to express solidarity with the state’s indigenous communities, BJP president Amit Shah had dropped by the house of a tribal family for lunch and laid out a vision document that promised exclusive welfare measures for them. The party also observed the birth anniversary of Tripura’s last ruler, Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, and proposed to carry out several initiatives – including renaming the Agartala Airport after him, building a 184-foot statue, and awarding a posthumous Padmashree – in his honour.
Six Trinamool Congress MLAs had joined the BJP on Monday, making it the main Opposition party in the assembly. This came as a lucky break for the saffron party, which has never won an assembly seat in Tripura.
The six MLAs had left the Congress to join Trinamool a little over a year ago. They were miffed over the party’s decision to ally with the Left Front in West Bengal.
The Left Front has 51 members in the Tripura assembly while the Congress has three.