25 January, 2021

From Bud To Flower

BJP’s foray into poll-bound Tripura baffles the ruling Left and dwarfs Congress

Mela Mood
Flags of BJP and CPI(M) deck up a street of Agartala
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
From Bud To Flower

There are no signboards showing the way to Sewa Dham, the state headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), about 15 km outside Agartala. An almost unnoticeable cut on the road and a short drive thr­ough mounds of dust lead you to the office of the right-wing volunteer organisation—in Purba Champamura village of Khayerpur locality.

Local people say there was an un-tarred road to the Sangh headquarters—and it was dug up in last December ahead of a visit by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The 67-year-old sarsanghchalak stayed there for three days, and said that all people living in India are Hindus. “We don’t know who dug it up, but it was done overnight,” recalls Sudipta Das, a resident. “We heard that CPI(M) cadres did it. Only the state machinery could have been so quick. There were deep pits that make entry and exit from Sewa Dham almost impossible.”

Immediately after, RSS men, including local boys and tribals, tried to fill the pits. That worsened a brutal battle between the RSS and workers of the ruling CPI(M)....



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