The Congress stormed the streets in Agartala as hundreds of its supporters participated in a statewide protest on August 5 (Friday) against the BJP government at the centre and in the state, mainly on three issues: price rise; unemployment, GST on essential commodities, and the Agnipath Scheme.
A protest rally was taken out from Rajiv Bhavan in Agartala that went through the streets of the capital city as Congress supporters and leaders with party flags, festoons and placards raised anti-Modi slogans and approached the new Raj Bhavan before they were stopped by the security forces near the Gandhi statue at the Circuit House area.
The Congress supporters had broken through three security force barricades as a large contingent of police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the area and engaged in a little skirmish with the protesters.
Later, addressing the gathering, Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman raised various issues of failure of the Modi government and the BJP-IPFT government in Tripura during the last 4.5-year time period.
He talked about the devaluation of money, the economic failures of the BJP government, and the price rise of food products due to GST imposition.
Roy Barman said, "The price of a cooking gas cylinder went up from Rs 410 to Rs 1300, and diesel from Rs 54 to around Rs 89, while petrol per litre has crossed Rs 100. The BJP raised slogans of Ab Ki Baar and Modi Sarkar. They sold false dreams and formed a government."
The Congress leader claimed that during the UPA government, 26 crore people were lifted out of poverty, whereas under Modi's NDA government, 23 crore people were pushed back into poverty.
He alleged that due to Modi’s demonetization and unscientific and unplanned GST imposition, the income of around 97 percent of the country has been reduced. Furthermore, small and medium industries have shut down, leaving lakhs of people unemployed.
According to the Congress MLA, excise duty on petrol products has increased tenfold, and diesel has increased tenfold, earning the Modi government an additional Rs. 1.72 lakh crore in excise duty, a 186 percent increase in excise duty in the last eight years. Again, tax collection has risen by 34 percent, but the common man is in deep trouble as, despite the increase in tax collection, the Modi government has further imposed GST on paddy, pulses, wheat, curd, etc.
"What will poor people eat? GST has been imposed on puffed rice, pulses, and milk products, and the situation is a poor people can't eat more than once a day. Farmers are committing suicides. Two crore employment every year is nowhere to be seen whereas 1.30 crore people have lost jobs but when this government is not waived taxes of poor and farmers Rs. 11 lakh crore tax money of capitalists billionaires of the country has been waived,” said Roy Barman.
He further added, "When Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other raises the real issues of the common man they are being hackled with false cases misusing the ED and CBI or BJP hatches stories of Hindu-Muslim issues, temple and mosque controversies to divert the attention from the real issue."
He claimed that the opposition's voice is not heard inside or outside Parliament, and that attempts are being made to muzzle the opposition's voice.
Roy Barman said, "Congress speak on science, technology, GDP but BJP speaks on communal issues, temple-mosque controversy, building massive statues, beef controversy, Pakistan, love jihad, Hindu Rashtra. They have a single agenda—by all means to stay in power. "The economy of India is fast moving towards the worst and Congress can't stay silent."
The Congress leader alleged that under BJP rule, Tripura has recorded the highest rate of unnatural deaths in the country and the prime reason behind it is unemployment, which is leading to frustration and pushing them towards drugs, but the state government is busy changing the names of places and distorting history to influence youths in the name of religions, riots, and Pakistan.
He threatened that Congress would organise a larger agitation across the state in the coming days if the party in power did not take effective steps to address the primary issue and provide some relief to the common man.
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