Agartala (Tripura), March 06, 2018 (TMC Desk) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers pulled down a statue of former Soviet leader Lenin in the state of Tripura after the party’s clean sweep in the state which was ruled for 25 years.
The five-year-old statue in Belonia town was removed with the help of an excavator as BJP workers and supporters cheered.
There have been clashes between BJP and Communist party workers in the state.
The NDTV news channel quoted eyewitnesses as saying the excavator which brought down the statue was hired by BJP workers.
Tapas Dutta, a local functionary of the outgoing Communist Party of India (Marxist), told The Indian Express newspaper that eyewitness had told him “that after the statue fell, its head was dismembered from the body and saffron party workers played football with the Communist leader’s head.”
A local BJP leader Raju Nath denied that the excavator was hired by his party and told the newspaper that the statue fell because of an “overflow of anger”.
“For years, there has been resentment against this statue of Lenin. It was built by the municipality and funded by the taxpayers’ money. Why should the taxpayer have to finance a statue of Lenin? What does this foreigner Lenin have to do with our people?,” Mr Nath said.
The chief of police of South Tripura Ipper Monchak said the driver of the excavator had been arrested and later released on bail.
“The statue remains where it has fallen. It will be removed by the police and given to the municipality for storage,” he said.
BJP-led NDA defeated the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the polls, winning 43 of the 59 seats in a remarkable first victory for the party in the state.
The outgoing party said more than 240 people had been injured in attacks on its party and trade union offices, since the election results were announced on Saturday.
ANI tweeted what BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy told to mediapersons, “Lenin is a foreigner, some kind of terrorist he was, why statue of such man in our country? Keep that statue inside Communist Party’s headquarters and worship: Subramanian Swamy.”
#Lenin to videshi hai, ek parakar se antankwadi hai, aise vyakti ka humare desh mein statue? Woh statue Communist party ke headquarters ke andar rakh sakte hain aur pooja karen :Subramanian Swamy pic.twitter.com/DUDVFApSCT
— ANI (@ANI) March 6, 2018