Agartala, Feb 11: The Congress is in league with political forces who are a “mask of outlawed extremists” and was trying to oust the Left Front in the Feb 14 assembly polls but would not succeed, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Monday.
“Congress’ electoral ally INPT (Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura) is a political force and mask of the outlawed extremists. Congress merged with the INPT only to oust the Left Front government,” he told reporters at a meet-the-press programme at the Agartala Press Club.
“To get some votes, the Congress is shaking hands with the murderous militants’ overground force INPT,” said Sarkar, a CPI-M politburo member who is contesting Thursday’s polls from the Dhanpur assembly cosntituency in western Tripura.
The main opposition Congress has kept 48 seats and given 11 seats to its long-time political ally INPT and one seat to NCT (National Conference of Tripura). Both are tribal based parties.
Election to the 60-member Tripura assembly will be held Feb 14. Votes will be counted Feb 28.
Sarkar said the INPT president and chief of erstwhile militant outfit TNV (Tripura National Volunteers), Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, in an interview to a television channel Sunday confessed that his outfit had killed people as per a secret deal with the then central government.
After 10 years of insurgency, the TNV led by Hrangkhawl had signed a tripartite agreement with the central and Tripura governments on Aug 12, 1988, and came overground. Subsequently, the TNV and tribal based organisation Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS) jointly formed the INPT in 1999.
Hrangkhawl, the lone INPT legislator, is seeking re-election from the Ambassa constituency in northern Tripura.
The CPI-M has been alleging that the Congress with the help of the TNV had conspired against the Left Front to oust the Nripen Chakraborty-led government on the eve of the 1988 assembly elections. The Left Front government had lost the 1988 election
“On the eve of the 1988 polls, 91 people were killed by the TNV before the Congress government at the centre led by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi promulgated the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and deployed the army all over the state despite opposition by then Left government,” CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said.