Tripura: CPI(M) stages walkout of assembly for ‘not being allowed to raise people’s concerns’

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CPI(M) MLAs of Tripura Friday staged a walkout of the assembly on the first day of the monsoon session of the 12th assembly and alleged they were not allowed to speak in the House on issues concerning the common people.

Speaking to reporters later in his chamber in the assembly premises, Opposition leader Manik Sarkar said the walk out was preceded by an adjournment motion moved by Left Front MLA Tapan Chakraborty on behalf of the Opposition legislators in the House in protest against the government’s denial to meet student and youth bodies agitating to demand education and work for all, assurances of a violence-free state and subsequent police actions against them.

The motion was denied by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty, saying there was no scope of adjournment. He added that the Opposition MLAs could raise their concerns during the discussions in the House.

“As many as 15 of our MLAs staged a protest in the House but the Speaker kept working in an arrogant manner. We had no option but to walk out,” Sarkar said.

He also took potshots at Chakraborty saying he keeps looking at the treasury benches at all times. “He (Chakraborty) had to work depending on instructions from there (treasury benches),” Sarkar alleged, adding, “He can’t take any decisions on his own. It had become clear to us since the beginning.”

Terming the issues raised by the student bodies as “genuine demands of the people”, Sarkar said the Chief Minister and the government could have easily heard a delegation from the agitators. “Instead, they unleashed lathi charge, water cannons and tear gas shells on them, injuring many in the process,” Sarkar added.

He said, “We wanted to raise these issues in the Assembly Friday and discuss, give chance to those in the government to clarify their stand but the adjournment motion was declined since the government has nothing to say to cover their deeds. Whatever the government is doing is in stark contrast to whatever was promised before the 2018 assembly election.”

Sarkar said the schools are reeling under severe shortage of teachers and added that the Vidyajyoti scheme, an ambitious scheme of the incumbent BJP-led government, is not doing much good as children hailing from the poor families are left unattended due to the hefty costs that have to be borne to study in Vidyajyoti schools.

He claimed government-run colleges are in tatters in the state and alleged that the incumbent government is unable to run the education infrastructure left behind by the erstwhile Left government.

He termed the BJP-IPFT government “anti-unemployed” and said interviews are being taken, recruitment exams are being conducted but the results are being withheld. Sarkar was obliquely referring to the Joint Recruitment Board of Tripura (JRBT) recruitment results, which are still withheld.

“Even for recruitment processes which underwent result announcement were stalled in a few cases by court litigations which were filed by people prodded by the government,” he said.

“I don’t think they have recruited more than 5-7 thousand people in the last 4.5 years and a large share of it was contractual employment. So, it’s clear that this government is working against the interest of the youths and the unemployed,” Sarkar added.

He further said the voice of the people of Tripura cannot be subdued by force and said people “are uniting against the ruling party”.