TRIPURAINFO

 

Interview with BJP State President

  Shri Biplab Deb

 

He personifies a handsome grace and a suave sophistication on his ever-smiling face, indicating a professorial personality. But the steel in the man’s mind comes forth whenever he speaks on politics which , in his perspective , is a mission for nation-building . Born and educated in Tripura’s ancient Udaipur town, Biplab Kumar Deb who almost single-handedly propels a powerful movement for change in Tripura is a son of the soil, dearly devoted to ‘Mother India’ as well as his native land. A protracted stint in the RSS under the benign and enlightening mentorship of stalwart K.N. Gobindacharya made Biplab what he is today. While leading the state BJP on mission-mode, working on a hectic daily schedule , Biplab took a while off his scarce time to speak his mind to tripurainfo.com in his chamber at the state BJP headquarter. Here goes the free-wheeling interview, more like a hearty chat across the table , for viewers of tripurainfo.com :

 

 

Question: It seems your assumption of stewardship of BJP in Tripura has brought about a major change in state politics from the perspective of your party. Many people have joined the party and many more are on line. How would you comment on this?

 

Answer: Well, my party made me president of the state unit with a specific brief and I have been trying to achieve the goal through a collective effort of all the ‘Kariyakartas’ on mission mode. But honestly speaking, BJP’s massive victory in the last Loksabha polls under the inspiring leadership of Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji and subsequent gains made by our party under their leadership in states like Assam, Manipur and, specially, Uttar Pradesh, have greatly inspired us here. In Tripura we are already the prime opposition force because of our tireless work and miserable failure of the traditional opposition to perform its role. We are now working at the grassroot level to strengthen our organization at all the booths through a streamlined organization and have achieved considerable success. In this context I may say that prime minister Narendra Modiji’s extraordinarily courageous initiative on demonetization, announced on November 8 last year, has elevated him to the status of a truly pro-poor leader and BJP as a pro-poor party. The benefits have percolated to grassroot level, resulting in electoral gains for BJP all over the country and we are preparing to capitalize on this in Tripura in our electoral fight against the anti-people left front.

 

Question: Having worked as BJP state president for more than a year what is your impression of the state politics and how confident are you of performing better in the next assembly polls? In the last assembly elections BJP got hardly 2% votes.

 

Answer: While assessing the prospects for the assembly polls next year, I would suggest you to forget what happened in 2013. There has been a sea-change in the political scenario in the state and at the national level. During the past year since I took over as state president on January 6, 2016 more than 2.5 lakh voters have joined our party and what is going on now is a tsunami. We now have a streamlined organization spread in the nooks and corners of the state and, besides the main party, we have been working under seven ‘Morchas’ or front organizations, a 78 member state committee, 16 member state executive, a core committee and other bodies. In addition, we have frontal organizations among the depressed classes like the OBC, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The leading lights of our ST front include stalwarts like Bimal Chakma, Rampada Jamatya, Jishnu Debbarma and Ashok Debbarma who have been working tirelessly among the tribal people. Barring the CPI (M), BJP is the only party that can boast of a powerful organizational base among the tribals now. Regarding state politics I can say that the CPI (M) led left front have destroyed this state because of their pernicious policy of keeping people in a state of thrall and permanent backwardness. They have been in power for twenty five years and what have they done besides constructing low-quality buildings with ulterior motive; in fact they had the time to transform Tripura over such a long time. Even now they claim Tripura has a BPL population of 67% which, of course, I think is absolutely wrong and in all other economic indices also Tripura is projected as poor and backward. Had they properly utilized the huge central money devolved to Tripura in a planned and scientific manner, Tripura would have had a different face.

 

Question: What is your view of CPI (M) and its propaganda that BJP is a communal outfit? How do you propose to counter this campaign?

 

Answer: The CPI (M), despite being a party registered with the election commission, is essentially an anti-national force having nothing to do with India, its culture, tradition and history. From my limited knowledge of history and from what I have learned at the feet of my guides and preceptors in the RSS I can assert that this party is yet to integrate itself with the idea of India. It is well recorded in history that during the boycott of foreign goods as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom movement against the British, the undivided communists had taken out processions and held meetings with the slogan that British working class in the mills and factories of England could not be made to lose wages because of movement in India. Just imagine the nature of their anti-national policy! They also backstabbed the Quit India movement in 1942 by collaborating with the imperial British government and their then party secretary P.C.Joshi was in regular touch with the British Viceroy-for reasons best known to him. Within a year of our independence in 1948 the undivided CPI in its Calcutta Congress had described our independence as ‘Ye Azadi Jhuta jai’ and launched murder and mayhem in Telengana, Kakdwip in West Bengal and Tripura as part of an ‘armed struggle’ to capture power by force. In that sense the communists were the first anti-national insurgent group of free India. Their party had been banned then but Nehru took pity on their pitiable pleas and lifted the ban and they flourished. Before that they had supported Muslim League’s demand for dismemberment of India in 1943 when their party leader Gangadhar Ahidkary had written a thesis pleading for partition of India, as referred to by our governor Tathagata Roy in his book. Even during Chinese war in 1962 the communists supported the Chinese aggressors. Even now they support China and say nothing on illegal Chinese occupation of 25 thousand square kms of our sacred land. After their split in 1964, the CPI (M) indirectly opposed the Bangladesh freedom movement in 1971, comparing Indira Gandhi with Yahya Khan but now they have become great lovers of Bangladesh and are receiving prizes for non-existent contribution. You will never find a CPI (M) leader expressing minimum sympathy for our brave jawans killed by terrorists and Pakistan or visiting their homes at the time of funeral, rather they always try to skirt and divert the issue as indirect support to Pakistan. This came out in sharp relief when Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja had rushed to home minister Rajnath Singh’s office on the morning after Kanhaiya Kumar and his accomplices in JNU had raised slogans calling for disintegration of India, condemning supreme court judges and supporting a hanged terrorist like Afzal Guru. The duo’s purpose was to save that anti-national Kanhaiya. The CPI (M) is continuing its perfidies and the list is too long to be recapitulated here but, unfortunately, this party runs governments after taking oath of office under the Indian constitution. Till a few years ago, the CPI (M) or its invisible ally, the CPI never raised national flags in their party offices even on republic day and independence day but, following criticism, they now raise a near invisible national flag in party offices but that flag is much lower and insignificant in comparison with their big party flag fluttering side by side. How can they operate in this country, having ceased to exist in other parts of the world?

 

Question: But the left front government always complains and protest deprivation in terms of funds from Centre. The ministers also give statistical data. What is your response?

 

Answer: You see, misleading people through false and baseless propaganda is a speciality of the CPI (M). You must remember that Tripura is a northeastern state, earmarked for special financial assistance, and there is no dearth of funds. What happens is that the state government refuses or fails to furnish the statutory utilization certificates, so how can the centre give funds? They grossly misutilised funds for MGNREGA and can not prove the works done in utilization certificates or by geo-tagging. No utilization certificate has been provided for at least Rs 550 crores. In geo-tagging only 6% of the MGNREGA works have been proved, how can they hope for continuous flow of funds? Moreover, an official circular issued by a senior official of the state government proved beyond any reasonable doubt what is happening in the name of MGNREGA implementation. The whole administration of the state government is party-centric and reeks of massive corruption. In fact the chief minister himself should ask for a CBI investigation into Chit fund scams if he is honest, as he claims.

On the other hand, the state administration is bungling on implementing of various centrally sponsored schemes like ‘Mudra Yojana’, ‘Stand-up India ’, ‘Start-up India’ etc. Out of Rs 3.48 crores disbursed by banks in Tripura on ‘Mudra Yojana’ the CPI (M) cadres grabbed more than 90%. Apart from this, on other schemes more than Rs 337.45 crores have been disbursed but we do not see any sign of utilization of the money. You may please recall in this connection that union minister for health J.P.Nadda had said that Centre would give Rs 130 crores in stead of Rs 30 crore demanded by the state government provided utilization certificate was furnished. The CPI (M) also carries on a completely false propaganda that Modi had promised employment for 2 crores of people every year but they forget that in BJP’s vision document we had clearly said that arrangements would be made for creating employment opportunities for 2 crores of people every year –through self-employment or business, not through appointment to government services. This has been done. Already 3.48 crore people across the country have got the benefit and even in Tripura 68,146 people have benefited through Mudra Yojana. There are countless other instances of CPI (M)’s falsehood and perfidies but you can not accommodate all of them in your interview.

 

Question: What is your plan for Tripura, for its development and welfare? What concrete steps are you planning to take?

 

Answer: As you are well aware, our national president Amit Shahji made an open and categorical commitment that if BJP comes to power, as seems very likely, the very first cabinet meeting will award 7th central pay commission benefits to employees and pensioners. Besides, all fixed-pay employees in the administration will be regularized in service with central payscale in the same first cabinet meeting. Since accommodating all the unemployed youths in government service which is only need-based will not be possible we will create massive self-employment opportunities. Implementation of all schemes will be carried out in the best possible manner and in all cases we will give big increase to the allowances and doles given by the left front to the poor people and the ambit of the schemes for poor people will be widened. Tripura is rich in rubber, forest, natural gas, bamboo-cane etc and we will ensure that investment pours in into the state to utilize these sectors for setting up industries. The tourism sector languishing under the left front’s neglect and motivated policies will be revived and made an income-multiplier. We will also put accent on border trade by setting up more border ‘haats’. But at this moment I obviously can not spell out the details but you can rest assured that our vision document will elaborate on our concrete and comprehensive plan for the development of this state. But I would like to mention that this anti-national left front has systematically destroyed Tripura’s history and heritage by demolishing historical monuments like ‘Lal Bari’ (Uzir Bari), Jackson gate, Bir Chandra Public Library, ‘Malancha Niwas’ and other important buildings and monuments. We will revive all of them including retrieval of the royal palaces of Udaipur and Puratan Agartala. Besides, we have already approached the union civil aviation ministry for naming the Agartala airport after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya who had donated the land and helped a lot in the building of the airport. But that can be done only after the state assembly passes a resolution in this regard. Since the left front will never do it, we will do it after we achieve power. We will preserve and protect the history and heritage of Tripura left as our legacy by the great kings who were really benevolent rulers. So this is our plan which will be announced in detail soon through our vision document and manifesto.

 

Question: What about alliances? Is the BJP going for alliance with regional parties and the Trinamool? Can you do without alliances in the crucial elections?

 

Answer: To tell you honestly, I am not authorized to speak on alliances, this is the prerogative of our national leaders. For the present we are trying to strengthen our party all over the state and this will continue. Personally I speak to Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawal and other leaders on occasions but a decision on alliances, if any, is not our priority; our current priority is to strengthen our party’s support base at the very booth level all over the state. From any other party any one can join us and we have also set a deadline till May 31 but this joining will have to be at the individual level and ‘never under the leadership of so and so’. That is our current position and the rest is left to our national leadership. But I can only add that BJP will keep on working on a mission mode to ensure full development of the tribal people and people belonging to other depressed classes and others of Tripura. You can await a new and vibrant Tripura under our dispensation.

 

Question: The next election, it seems, promises to be violent as both the BJP and CPI (M) will work very hard to win and retain power. What is your forecast on this?

 

Answer: There is no forecast on this. For CPI (M) I can say that ‘Vinaash Kale Viporit Buddhi’. They know they are going out of power, so they are trying to attack our workers and supporters to scare them away, even our women leaders and workers are being attacked. This will never succeed as CPI (M) will be dumped in the dust-heap of history very soon. Actually the CPI (M) is the most power-crazy party in India, it can do anything to capture power and retain power, they never think of people. Our priority is country first and party second but their policy is party first, second and last . The difference is obvious and unmistakable. I am no astrologer, so I would not predict the poll outcome but the people of the state have decided to go for change this time and please do not be surprised if we make a clean sweep of all sixty seats. There is no reason for CPI (M) to brag that there is hardly any beggar in Tripura or people do not die from starvation because they have been in power uninterruptedly for twenty five years. The people of the state, the unemployed youths, MGNREGA workers and poorer sections will be the nemesis of CPI (M) in the next assembly polls.