Tripura politics has exploded with a fresh scandal after a video of a BJP minister allegedly groping his own cabinet colleague with Prime Minister Narendra Modi present on the stage went viral.
In the video, Minister Monoj Kanti Deb, who holds Food, Youth Affairs and Sports portfolios, is seen inappropriately touching Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Santana Chakma, a young tribal leader. Chakma is seen removing his hand, but to no avail as Deb continues to stay inappropriately close to her.
The opposition Left party has demanded Deb’s resignation and filing of FIR for molestation. Left Front convener Bijan Dhar told the media, according to news agency IANS, told media that Deb must be sacked and be arrested for touching the woman minister ‘in an extremely indecent manner on the stage from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and others addressed the public gathering.’
“The male minister has publicly harmed the modesty, sanctity and dignity of the lone woman minister of Tripura at a public platform where the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and other important personalities were present,” Dhar was quoted as saying.
Deb has refused to comment on the controversy but the BJP has defended the minister. Accusing the Left parties of indulging in character assassination of the minister, a BJP spokesperson said, “The woman minister has never made any statement and complaint on the issue raised by the Left parties.” Dhar asked, “Why are the Left parties doing this dirty politics?”
The incident took place on 9 February when PM Modi visited Tripura to lay the foundation stone and inaugurate development projects in the state capital Agartala.