Agartala, May 7 (IANS) At least seven offices of political parties built on government land here, including those of the CPI-M and the Congress, were bulldozed on Monday by the district administration, an official said.
“Seven offices of political parties were removed as those were erected on government land. Razing of party offices would continue even in the coming days, as per the government’s decision,” West Tripura District Magistrate Milind Dharmrao Ramteke told IANS.
According to Ramteke, who is also Additional Secretary to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, in West Tripura district, there are 104 such illegally-constructed offices of various political parties.
The demolition drive was carried out amidst strong “objections” from the opposition parties, including the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal-based party.
Ramteke and West Tripura district police chief Ajit Pratap Singh led the two-and-half-hour demolition drive.
Before knocking down the illegal constructions, a huge contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) was posted in the capital city to avoid any untoward incident.
Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had announced demolition of all such offices of parties and their frontal organisations set up on government land and had set a seven-day timeline to accomplish the task.
Reacting to the government move, former Transport and Power Minister Manik Dey, who is also president of the state unit of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that without any prior notice, the government “very undemocratically” bulldozed the party offices.
“After coming to power, the BJP government has been taking one after another undemocratic steps against the opposition parties, especially against the Left parties,” Dey told the media.
State CPI-M Secretary Bijan Dhar and state Congress president Birajit Sinha had earlier opposed the government’s decision to bulldoze the party offices, some which had been set up decades ago.