AGARTALA: Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong remain kings for the Left Front in Tripura but not the erstwhile kingdom’s own dynasty, rues royal Pradyut Kishore Manikya.
The 40-year-old working president of the Congress state unit had some harsh words for the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government for allegedly not recognising the contributions of the royal family.
“You can pay homage to (freedom fighter) Khudiram (Bose), Lenin and Mao but not to a tribal king. The royal family did so much for the welfare of Tripura and its people but it got nothing from the state government. It wants respect, recognition and the basic dignity of a human being,” Manikya told The New Indian Express.
The Agartala airport was built by my grandfather Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, he said, adding his father Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya donated 25 acre of land in 1959 for the construction of a hospital in the heart of Agartala.
“The government had agreed to name a ward after him and put his picture there. They removed it. The government says they did nothing for the people,” he said.
The Congress leader flayed the Sarkar government for its anti-growth and anti-development postures. “The government is confused. At one point, it speaks of opening up while at another point, it discriminates within its policies. Tripura looks like a Left state of the 1960s.
“The government needs to decide if this should be a welfare state. Even the Communist countries have opened up their markets and the biggest example is China.”
Manikya was equally critical of the BJP which forged pre-poll alliance with the NC Debbarma faction of tribal-based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (Tripura).
“They (BJP) are creating a lot of noises. Their candidates were Congressmen at one point of time, which proves that they either do not trust the RSS or they are acknowledging the fact that they don’t have the organisational base. If the BJP was serious, it should have fielded its own people,” he said. “The money, which is being spent on hype and publicity, is only going to work against the BJP.”
But Manikya welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for invoking Bir Bikram Kishore in his recent address. “Hope he (Modi) delivers what he says. But the fact remains that my grandfather’s ideology is a lot closer to that of a united Tripura than what is preached by the BJP leaders in the state.”