CPM, accused of pre-poll violence in Tripura, withdraws candidate alleging post-poll violence

The CPM on Saturday decided to withdraw from the Charilam seat in Tripura, the polling of which was postponed due to the death of CPM candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma. Alternatively, polling will be held on 12th March. Earlier the party had fielded an alternate candidate in the form of Palash Debbarma.

Since then, the party has had a change of heart to not contest from the seat alleging post-poll violence in the constituency. The CPM’s state secretary Bijan Dhar has blamed the ruling BJP and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) for this violence. As per him, the CPM candidate was forced to stay out of the constituency, despite being its resident. Dhar thus claimed that they had sought for further postponement of the polls, which wasn’t granted. Thus they decided to unanimously withdraw from the polls.

BJP’s Sunil Deodhar though has termed the allegations as baseless.

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Such allegations by the CPM might be taken with a pinch of salt by the people, considering the communist party itself has been accused widespread violence prior to the polls.

We had reported how barely week ahead of the polls, the body of a BJP booth president was recovered from Barjala region of the state. Madhu Deb the party’s booth president from the Ramnagar constituency, was abducted and remained untraceable for a couple of days. BJP had alleged that CPM cadre was behind this act.

As per BJP’s Sunil Deodhar, who has been made in-charge of the state, this was the 11th Tripura BJP activist, killed in the last 13 months, thereby insinuating the violent conditions under which the opposition parties operated.

Such allegations though weren’t unique for this election. As per a Swarajya article, the communist party is known to create a climate of terror and intimidation ahead of the polls. The CPM allegedly restrains opposition candidates from campaigning and issues threats to opposition workers and voters. It is also alleged that CPM workers and musclemen violently go around towns and villages ahead of polling day to create a climate of fear.

As is commonly known, “assuming power over the state isn’t the same as assuming power over the establishment”, some might find it difficult to believe to that the CPM has been so exponentially weakened and BJP similarly strengthened that, the red party is now being overpowered violently barely days after the latter has assumed power.

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