Agartala, Feb. 11: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar today said installation of the seventh Left Front government in the state was only a matter of time now.
Exuding confidence about the Left Front’s “resounding success” in the February 14 Assembly elections, Sarkar said they would return to power in Tripura. He was addressing a news conference here this morning.
“I have been extensively campaigning for the election and my conviction is that the people of the state are ready to vote the seventh Left Front government to power with more votes and more seats. I say this on the basis of responses of the common people to our campaign,” Sarkar said.
He rubbished the Congress slogan about change in Tripura and said the people of Bengal, who had wanted change, “are now demanding change of change”.
“Actually, there is need and demand for change at the central level, as the UPA-II government has become a disastrous burden for the common people. Massive corruption, stashing national money abroad, pampering of Indian and foreign capitalists, price-rise, rising poverty level and suffering of common people are the special contributions of the UPA-II government.”
Sarkar also took a dig at Trinamul Congress for shying away from the Assembly elections in Tripura. “Trinamul has fled, knowing that all their candidates will forfeit security deposits and this may have an adverse impact on their prospects in the panchayat elections in Bengal, where people are now steadily turning away from them.”
Commenting on the offer of the state Congress about unemployment doles to youths in the manifesto, Sarkar said Congress would never be able to do this because the Centre would not give the money.
Describing the Congress manifesto as a “document of deception” Sarkar said, “The Congress leadership was fully aware of the impossibility of fulfilling the recklessly populist promises made in the manifesto. They still made the commitments because they know very well in their heart of hearts that Congress will never come to power and have the responsibility to fulfil the commitments made.”
Sarkar referred to the Centre’s commitment to provide employment to 1 crore people every year before the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and its “miserable failure” in honouring that commitment and lashed out at the Centre — both NDA and UPA — for curtailing the power of the state to proceed against hoarders and black-marketeers.
“In the past, the states had limited power to act against hoarders and black-marketers but the NDA government reduced it, while the UPA completely took away the power from the states.”
He also lashed out at the Congress for aiding and abetting banned militants in the state.
“Surrendered militant Dhanu Koloi was arrested last year along with his accomplices Ratasri Koloi and Bishu Debbarma while carrying Rs 25 lakh for handing over to the National Liberation Front of Tripura for purchasing arms. His confessional statement to the CID officials is full of details of how a section of Congress is trying to revive militancy in Tripura,” Sarkar said.
He also referred to a recent statement given by Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra president and former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) chief Bijay Hrangkhawal to a local daily. “Hrangkhawal has at last confessed to a local daily that whatever he had done before the Assembly polls of 1988 had been committed at the behest of the Centre led by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Altogether 102 men, women and children were massacred by TNV militants to pave the way for Imposition of Disturbed Area Act before election and deployment of the army,” Sarkar said.
He reiterated his commitment to consistently try to upgrade the standard of living of the poor and develop the state.