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Post their victory in Tripura BJP supporters resort to hooliganism; vandalise Lenin's statue
The BJP has been building a nation-wide campaign since some time against CPM's `politics of murder' and its violent cadre in its ruled states like Kerala and Tripura.

The BJP's electoral success in Tripura is no doubt a great achievement. A party that had struggled to even save its deposits except on one seat five years ago, has managed to come to power, by toppling the mighty 25-years-old CPM regime.

However, the restlessness being exhibited by the BJP and its supports after its significant success in Tripura is a major cause of worry. At a time when the BJP has managed to be at the helm of affairs in state governments in as many as 21 states, and the largest opposition party, the Congress, has shrunk to remain only in three states, the BJP has also undertaken an aggressive campaign to dethrone the Congress in another state – Karnataka.

Although the people expect responsible behaviour from the party, the BJP supporters pulling down a statue of the leader of the Russian revolution Vladimir Lenin in Tripura and reports of attacks on CPM offices and workers elsewhere are certainly catching the attention of the people from all over the country.

After these incidents led to condemnation from all over the country, the BJP seems to have realised that such acts of vandalism were a grave mistake and is now trying to distance itself from them.

Surprisingly, BJP's national secretary and Northeast in-charge, Ram Madhav, had acknowledged the vandalizing of Lenin's statue by tweeting a photo of the incident and captioning it, "People taking down Lenin's statue … not in Russia, it is in Tripura. 'Chalo Paltai.'" However, his tweet was later deleted.

BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy, also in solidarity, tweeted saying that Lenin was a `terrorist'. Even more astoundingly, Tripura's Governor Tathagata Roy, siding with the perpetrators who vandalized Lenin's statue tweeted, "What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa."

This forced Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to intervene and ask Tripura Governor and the DGP to ensure peace till a new government is formed.

A series of violent incidents have been reported from Tripura since Saturday, with the CPM complaining of targeted attacks after the BJP-IPFT alliance ended 25 years of Left rule in the state. The newly elected BJP government is yet to take over in Tripura.

Ironically, an excavator (universally known as JCB) possibly belonging to the state government was used to pull down Lenin's statue in Belonia town of south Tripura on March 5.

Following the complaints lodged by CPM functionaries, the police registered an FIR and arrested the driver of the JCB, who was later let off on bail. The statue had stood at the centre of a College Square for the last five years in Belonia town which is about 90 km south of the state capital Agartala. The statute had been installed in 2013 at a cost of three lakh rupees. A group of BJP supporters sporting saffron T-shirts and caps while celebrating the party's victory in the Assembly poll brought down the statue on Monday afternoon amidst shouting of slogans "Bharat Mata Ki Jai."

Tapas Dutta, a local functionary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), told The Indian Express that eyewitnesses had told him that "after the statue fell, the bust was dismembered from the body. Then BJP workers played football with Lenin's head."

In the meanwhile, hours later, Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja said that statues of Dravidian icon EV Ramasamy 'Periyar' "will be brought down". As many as three statues of Periyar were allegedly vandalised in the state on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, H Raja, in a post on Facebook along with a video of a Lenin statue being bulldozed in Tripura wrote, "Who is Lenin? What is his relevance in India? Why is India connected to Communism? Yesterday, Lenin statue was brought down in Tripura. Tomorrow, statues of caste fanatic EV Ramaswamy Periyar will be brought down."

When his remarks invited strong criticism from different political groups, he deleted the post. Periyar, founder of the Dravida Kazhagam party who had also led the self-respect movement, is revered in Tamil Nadu, irrespective of political affiliations. Reacting to Raja's statement, DMK working president MK Stalin demanded his arrest.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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