After the youth rally in West Bengal, youths in Tripura took out a huge march under the banner of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Tribal Youth Federation (TYF) on Monday, September 16. The march was taken out with the demands of ‘restoration of democracy’ in the state and employment for the youth. Thousands of activists and ordinary citizens took part in the rally.
Talking to NewsClick, Palash Bhowmik, state president of DYFI said, “We demand that the BJP’s authoritarian government restore the democratic ambience in the state. The democracy in Tripura has been marred by incidents of large-scale attacks on opposition leaders and supporters in the past 18 months.”
This youth march is significant because it is the first time such a massive number of people participated in a protest rally taken out by the left-backed organisations since the defeat of the Left Front government in the 2018 Assembly elections in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) won a large majority of seats in the election and formed the government. Ever since then, the state has witnessed a large number of attacks on the left leaders and the supporters of Left Front, scaring the ordinary citizens to the point that they were hesitant to show their support for the Front.
Also read: Thousands of Youths Rally in West Bengal, Demanding Education and Employment
Bhowmik said, “Before winning the elections, BJP had said in their vision document that they will create 50,000 jobs in the first year of their government. However, like all other promises made by the party, this was also fake.” DYFI state secretary Nabarun Deb said, “Several promises like creating 50,000 jobs were made by the BJP during the Assembly elections but not a single job has been created so far.”
DYFI and TYF have condemned the privatisation drive taken up in the state by the current government. Deb said, “The activities of BJP government marked a sharp contrast with the pre-poll promises made by BJP top brasses. Instead of taking welfare measures – hike in social pensions and MGNREGA wages etc., the BJP government imposed a cess on fuel and all recruitments have been kept in abeyance.” The leaders of these two organisations have also threatened to launch further movements to protect the rights of the people.
The massive rally of thousands of youths wielding red and white flags flooded the streets of Tripura on Monday. The pedestrians and vehicles, all stood still as the youth marched through the city, raising slogans asking the state government to comply with its poll promises immediately. The leaders of the organisations have declared that if the government does not fulfil its promises, they will organise even larger movements to compel the government to either implement the promises or to step down.
According to the local media, a rally of this scale had not been seen in the recent years, and especially not from a party that had been assumed to be facing steady erosion of its base in the state for more than two years, and was largely believed to have been in the process of dying out.