Agartala, Dec 16 (PTI): The Opposition CPI(M) and the Congress in Tripura claimed on Friday that the ruling BJP was turning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Agartala for various programmes into a campaign for the party, with an eye on next year’s Assembly polls.
The CPI(M) also alleged that the saffron party was making elaborate arrangements for the visit, and “the public exchequer was bearing all expenses”.
The BJP, denying the assertions, stated that the Opposition camps were making ‘baseless’ allegations as they were scared of the ‘impending defeat’ in the 2023 elections.
Earlier in the day, chief minister Manik Saha said that the PM was set to inaugurate a slew of projects and a dental college in Tripura on Sunday, besides addressing a rally and interacting with beneficiaries of various welfare programmes of the Centre and the State.
CPI(M) State secretary Jitendra Choudhury, while interacting with reporters, said, “We welcome the Prime Minister’s visit to poll-bound Tripura. However, the way the party and the Government machinery are working overnight, the visit seems to have now turned into a political event ahead of the Assembly elections.”
Choudhury also said that district magistrates and other officials have been roped in by the BJP to bring people to Modi’s rally.
“We want to know why an event of such huge scale is being organised by spending public money. Just like BJP leaders, DMs and SDMs are also trying to gather people for the PM’s rally,” he said.
In a similar vein, the Congress said that the PM belonged to every citizen of India, but the ruling BJP in the State was using the opportunity to turn the event into a party rally.
“We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop such activities ahead of the next year’s elections,” Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Birajit Singha said.
Making light of the assertions, BJP State general secretary Papia Datta urged all CPI(M) and Congress leaders to join the rally, as it was ‘open to all’.
“Opposition parties are scared of their defeat in the 2023 Assembly elections. They perceive the PM’s visit as a threat. The Prime Minister’s visit is all about development and growth. He will be dedicating dwellings and piped water connections to beneficiaries on the occasion,” Datta said.