The 12 hour general strike called by some opposition parties in Tripura on Monday evoked mixed response. BJP and TPGC (Tripura Pragatishil Gramin Congress) enforced the strike to press the election commission to order fresh elections in both Lok Sabha seats in the state and removal of Chief Electoral Officer Ashutosh Jindal for allegedly aiding ruling CPI(M) to rig the polls.
Aam Admi Party (AAP), which has no relevance in state politics, has supported the dawn to dusk bandh while Trinamool Congress opposed and Congress remained unrevealing. CPI (M) not only rejected, but its cadre force was active on the ground to foil the strike on what the party said ‘an attempt to divert attention from an imminent defeat’.
The bandh was peaceful except a couple of untoward incidents and evoked mixed response. In Agartala, shops, education institutions and private establishments remained closed, and vehicular traffic remained off the road.
However, government officers and some banks worked normally. Major fish and vegetable markets opened in the morning, but later closed down at persuasion by the picketers.
Police arrested around 400 picketers including top leaders of BJP and TPGC for violating prohibitory order and were released late in afternoon.
A few incidents marred the strike. BJP’s youth wing general secretary Joydip Chakraborty was injured critically when miscreants attacked a party squad.
TPGC President Subal Bhowmik alleged he and supporters were attacked by armed CPI (M) cadres near Radhanagar motor stand in the city. He said all attacks were carried out in presence of police.
BJP, TPGC and the AAP claimed the strike was complete and it reflected their protest against ‘manipulated’ elections. CPI (M) led left front rejected the claim and said the strike was a complete flop.