CPM lashes out Prithviraj Chavan for accusing Karat

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Agartala, Feb 6 (UNI) The CPI(M) in Tripura today lashed out at Minister of State at PMO Prithviraj Chavan for criticising party Chief Prakash Karat for his statement on Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally here on Sunday.

Addressing reporters here, CPI (M) Tripura spokesperson Gautam Das said Mr Karat's speech was distorted by a section of the media, based on which Mr Chavan, an AICC observer in Tripura, accused the former of making derogatory remarks on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

He criticised Mr Chavan saying that being a responsible central minister he should have been cautious.

He said, ''The Congress is responsible for under-development of Northeast, including Tripura, and Mr Gandhi was also not sincere about the development of the region.'' Mr Chavan yesterday threatened to file a complaint against Mr Karat to the Election Commission for the remark against Mr Gandhi where he had allegedly said that during the tenure of Rajiv Gandhi the Congress patronised insurgency to oust the Left Front from Tripura in 1988.

Mr Das said the sudden spurt in insurgency related violence was committed by the then militant organisation Tripura National Volunteers (TNV), led by Bijoy Kumar Hrankghwal, now a member of the assembly, before the 1988 assembly polls.

Large scale massacres of TNV cadres before the 1988 elections swayed public opinion sharply and the Left Front lost the polls to the Congress-TUJS alliance. Soon after the combine came to power, the TNV came overground following a pact between Rajiv Gandhi and Hrankghwal on October 27 in 1988.

''The then militant leader is now the president of INPT--a combination of former TUJS and TNV men--with which the Congress had forged electoral alliance in 2003 as well as this time too,'' Mr Das said. He accused the INPT of acting as a political outfit of the insurgent groups and said the leaders of the party often meet in Aizawl, Shillong and Guwahati.

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