The BJP government in Tripura on Monday twice disallowed the first mega rally planned by the Trinamool Congress under the leadership of the party’s national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Agartala, first on Wednesday and then on Thursday.
Trinamool General Secretary Kunal Ghosh tweeted late on Monday night that the fresh date of the mega rally would be announced on Tuesday.
The Tripura government on Monday disallowed the Trinamool rally, hours after the police denied permission for the September 15 event. The Trinamool then again sought permission from the police to hold the ‘padayatra’ the next day, but that request was also disallowed.
Anirban Das, sub-divisional police officer, Sadar, in a letter to Trinamool leader Subal Bhowmik said that it is not possible to permit the holding of the rally on September 16 since there will be law and order commitment of police in view of Viswakarma Puja, which falls on September 17.
“Viswakarma Puja is celebrated throughout the state on a large scale by different bodies. Due to our prior commitments for traffic management and law and order, it is not possible to mobilise manpower for covering such a gathering. Besides, it will cause inconvenience to the public,” the SDPO’s second letter said.
Lambasting the police decision, Abhishek Banerjee tweeted : “BJP India is scared to death and Biplab (Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb) is using all his might and resources to prevent me from entering Tripura. Keep trying, but you cannot stop me. Your fear of AITC shows that your days in governance are numbered. Truth be told, ‘yeh darr humein achha laga’!.”
Ghosh, who is also the chief spokesman of Trinamool, had tweeted earlier: “To prevent Abhishek Banerjee’s rally in Agartala, the BJP conspired in numerous ways. Such conspiracies would not stop Abhishek Banerjee and the Trinamool in Tripura. They are afraid of Abhishek Banerjee’s political strength.”
He said the police cancelled Trinamool’s rally on Wednesday and Thursday after “political directions”.
West Tripura district police chief Manik Lal Das told IANS that the Mahila Morcha (women’s wing) of the BJP had earlier sought permission from the police to hold a rally in Agartala on Wednesday.
“We cannot allow two parties to hold rallies in Agartala at the same time. Moreover, the geographical position of the city does not permit two mega rallies at the same time,” Das said.
The SDPO, Sadar, in his first letter to Trinamool leader Subal Bhowmik said on Monday that during a review meeting, it was found that permission for organising a mass rally in Agartala has already been granted to another political party on the relevant date and time.
“On further review, it was also found that the political party will organise the mass rally in the same route as prayed from your end. As such, from the perspective of security and law and order, the protest rally (of Trinamool) on September 15 from 14:00 hrs is not permitted,” the letter said.
With an eye on the Assembly polls in Tripura scheduled in 2023, Trinamool leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee, three Bengal ministers and over 12 MPs and many leaders are frequently visiting the state since July 25 to build the organisation and garner support in the BJP-ruled state.
A series of violent incidents involving Trinamool leaders from West Bengal and Tripura occurred in the state. Many leaders were also arrested by the Tripura police.
Trinamool’s political activities got a boost after the All India Mahila Congress chief and former Congress MP from Silchar (Assam), Sushmita Dev, joined the party on August 16.
Dev, who’s father and former Union minister late Santosh Mohan Dev was instrumental in installing the Congress-led government in Tripura in 1988, has been given the charge of Tripura.
She is now touring the state for more than a week to strengthen the party.