Agartala, Aug10 : A controversy erupted after Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Birajit Sinha questioned government's crackdown on people involved in illegal drug manufacturing and trade without creating alternative options for their livelihood.
While addressing media Sinha had commented, “Lakhs of people in the state are associated with the business of ganja, phensedyl, drugs and brown sugar. All of a sudden, the government is trying to intimidate them. The government must ensure alternative opportunities for those who have been involved in this illicit business.”
His comments earned serious criticism from ruling BJP, and its general secretary Pratima Bhowmik claimed that Sinha was speaking for the drug peddlers and smugglers. "The comment of Congress chief is treated as lobbying in favour of drug racketeers and it indicates how drug business grew and flourished in Tripura over the years," she said.
“The BJP-IPFT government in last five months showed zero tolerance to drug peddlers, smugglers, anti-socials and criminals who had flourished under the patronage of the then ruling party and opposition. As per the commitment, our government took strong stand against them, which somehow affected Sinha and his friends,” Bhowmik said.
She, however, pointed out that the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb vowed to make Tripura drug and crime free soon and the government is working in the same direction. In earlier days, the government functioned with negotiation tactics but this government is working for the people of the state for making the state develop in next three years.
Bhowmik also advised Sinha not to lobby for the criminals otherwise, it would bring negative impact for them and added, “The government is elected for doing all good for the people and chief minister and his cabinet members time and again urging the criminals and drug smugglers to join in main stream and help development.”
However, Birajit Sinha today reiterated his statement and made it clear that he stands by what he has said and stated, “The government has to analyse that such businesses flourished in Tripura because of joblessness and unemployment. If government wants to eradicate the menace, there must be an alternative.”
“What I have said was the truth. Today there is no work in the state so what will people do for their survival, especially the weaker sections of the society? I don’t support those who are involved in drug business and they must be punished but it is also the responsibility of the government to provide work and job opportunities so that people are not compelled to be involved in such illegal business. Today lakhs of youth from the entire Northeast India are migrating to Northern and Southern India in search of work. But whose responsibility is to provide them work in their own state?” Sinha argued. (UNI)