Lenin Statue in Tripura Razed After BJP Win, Rajnath Steps In
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav tweeted a photo of the Lenin statue being torn down & captioned it “Chalo Paltai”.
Less than 48 hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the mandate in Tripura, a video emerged showing right-wing supporters razing down a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin in the state’s Belonia town.
The video shows the statue, located in the Belonia College Square, being torn down by people wearing t-shirts reading “Chalo Paltai”, while raising chants of “Bharat mata ki jai.”
The CPI(M) offices in various parts of the state were also attacked, reported ANI.
According to PTI, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on 6 March, spoke to the Governor and Tripura police chief, requesting them to curb the violence in the state, ahead of the swearing-in of the new BJP government.
Condemning the violence, CPI(M) leader and politburo member Sitaram Yechury, on 6 March, told ANI that the violence in the state was a reflection of the BJP-RSS ideology.
Tripura mein jo hinsa ho rahi hai yeh sapasth hai ki RSS-BJP ka rujhan kya hai. Hinsa ke alawa unka rajneetik bhavishya kuch hai nahi. Tripura ki janta iska jawaab degi. (The violence in Tripura is shows the attitude of the RSS-BJP. Apart from violence, they have no future in politics. The people of Tripura will give them an answer for this attitude.)
Ram Madhav Backs Act, Nalin Kohli Denies BJP Role
On 5 March, BJP national general secretary and the party’s northeast in-charge, Ram Madhav, who is credited for the party’s win in Tripura, voiced his support towards the act of vandalism.
BJP leader Nalin Kohli, however, refuted claims of the party having a hand in the razing of the Lenin statue. He told ANI on 6 March:
BJP does not ever practice culture of violence. In places like Tripura, Left parties have chosen to be silent about 11 BJP workers who were killed. Some of those who support Left parties are trying to foist these kind of debates that a statue is removed.
The BJP had earlier claimed their win would be the “end of the road” for Communist figures such as Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin in Agartala and other parts of the state, reported The Hindu.
The party’s statement was seen as a reference to roads that were renamed after communist revolutionaries and statues that were instituted in their honour by the CPI(M) government led by Manik Sarkar over the last two decades.
During an election rally in Tripura in February, BJP President Amit Shah said that the state was celebrating birth anniversaries of Stalin and Lenin but not of Indian icons.
We want to change politics of violence in Tripura to politics of development. In Tripura, birth anniversaries of Stalin and Lenin are celebrated but not of Tagore and Vivekananda. Bring the BJP government in the state and within five years we will make it a model state.Amit Shah, BJP President
The BJP-IPFT alliance scripted history by winning 43 seats, ending 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the state.
(This is a developing story and will be updated.)
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