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Opposition continues boycott of Tripura chief minister

Agartala, March 3 (IANS) Opposition legislators in Tripura Wednesday continued their boycott of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar over his remarks on the alleged links between terror groups and political parties by twice staging a walkout in the state assembly.

‘We shall continue to boycott the chief minister until he withdraws his comments or apologises for his baseless, unfounded and false allegation against the party (Congress),’ Congress leader Gopal Roy told reporters after walking out of the house on the second day of the weeklong budget session.

The opposition Congress and its ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) left the house as soon as Sarkar stood up to speak on some issues raised by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and opposition legislators.

The Congress and INPT, a tribal-based party, have been boycotting the chief minister since Dec 16 last year for his comments on a nexus between outlawed terror groups and political parties.

In an unprecedented move, the Congress and INPT leaders in Tripura also refused to share the dais for any government and non-government programmes across the northeastern state.

Terming the chief minister’s comments ‘irresponsible and childish’, opposition leader Roy said: ‘The Congress wants peace and development in the northeastern state. Such type of provocative remarks would only disturb the peace and ethnic unity.’

During a debate in the state assembly over militancy in the state in December, Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio, had said: ‘The regional party – INPT – has a link with militant outfits. The Congress has a political alliance with the INPT. Therefore, the separatist outfits are getting indirect support from the main opposition party (Congress).’

Sarkar, in support of his remarks, had said: ‘In 2001, the INPT’s then elected executive member of the Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council (TTADC) and other party leaders had sent 50 tribal students and youths to Bangladesh to take arms training there before joining terrorists outfits.’

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