BJP workers not allowing relief funds collection in Tripura: CPI-M

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New Delhi : The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Tuesday said that the BJP workers in Tripura are not allowing the collection of funds to undertake relief work in flood-affected Kerala and alleged that its leaders were manhandled by BJP workers.

"The Tripura State Committee of the CPI-M has been collecting funds from the people for relief work in flood-affected Kerala. There has been a good response from the public. However, on August 27, in three places -- Maharajganj Bazar in Agartala, Khowai town and Belonia town -- BJP workers physically stopped CPI-M leaders and activists from collecting funds," the party said in a statement here.

It said that its senior leaders and elected representatives like MLAs Badal Chowdhury and Sudhan Das and ex-MLA Basudeb Majumder were among those who were "prevented by BJP men in the presence of the police".

"In Khowai Town, the collection team led by party Secretary Padma Debbarma and MLA Nirmal Biswas were not only stopped from collecting funds but also assaulted.

"These attacks and anti-democratic stance of the ruling party is typical of the situation prevailing in Tripura ever since the BJP government came to power. Even collection of money for humanitarian relief is subjected to attack," it said.

Condemning such "anti-democratic and anti-social activities", the CPI-M demanded that the state government take "immediate steps to ensure normal functioning of the opposition".

The CPI-M was dethroned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura after 25 years of uninterrupted rule in Assembly polls this year. Ever since, the CPI-M has been complaining of violence against its cadres by the ruling party members.