Cong to put up strong fight against Left Front in Tripura: Pranab

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Agartala, Feb 13 (UNI) External Affairs Minister and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today asserted that even though the UPA government at the Centre was supported by the Left Front (LF), the Congress will put up a strong fight against the ruling LF in Tripura.

As part of the party's election campaigns ahead of the Assembly polls on February 23, Mr Mukherjee addressed three rallies in North and West Tripura districts.

Later, addressing mediapersons here, he came down heavily on the state government over the issue of the development while releasing the party's election manifesto.

He criticised the LF and alleged that the CPI(M) was trying to mislead the people by spreading the misconception that the INPT, with which the Congress had forged an electoral alliance, had been maintaining links with underground outfits.

He claimed that the Congress had been trying to bring back the misguided youths into the mainstream since Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's regime.

''The alliance with the INPT is not the only case in point. The Congress had forged alliance with the erstwhile TUJS in 1980 and we have always been endeavouring to destabilise the extremists by offering them political autonomy, which is what Mr Nehru did with Naga leaders in the sixties,'' Mr Mukherjee underlined.

He said that at the time of Operation Blue Star in 1984, Congress leaders, including him, had tried to negotiate with the militants and finally launched the operation. Consequently, Punjab had become a peaceful state and now Mizoram and Nagaland were also in the list, he claimed.

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