On Saturday, the Left that ruled Tripura for over 2 decades was defeated by the BJP. What followed was jubilation and celebrations by the BJP for whom this was a huge moral victory.
At Belonia town in Tripura stood a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin. Within 48 hours of the verdict in Tripura, BJP workers and supporters thronged the centre of College Square and brought down the Lenin statue that stood there for the past 5 years. With the help of a JCB and amidst chants of Bharat Mata ki jai, the statue was brought down.
A political war of words broke out immediately with the Left terming the incident as 'Communism phobia." The BJP reacted by saying that the statue was brought down by people who were oppressed by the Left.
Tapas Datta, the CPI(M)'s Belonia sub-division secretary while quoting eye-witnesses said that after the statue had fallen the head was dismembered from the body. The BJP workers then played football with Lenin's head, he also said.
The driver of the JCB, Ashish Pal was arrested later. He was, however, let off on bail. The statue will now be removed and handed over to the municipality for storage.
The statue was sculpted by local artist Krishna Debnath at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. It was installed to commemorate the Left's 21st year of rule in 2013 after it won the assembly elections. Raju Nath, the BJP's south district secretary who has been blamed by the CPI(M) for planning the incident said that the incident was a result of an overflow of anger.
While denying that the JCB was hired by the party, he said that the houses near the statue opposed the same. There would be weekly gatherings and the CPI(M) would impose on them the Left ideology, he said.