Kolkata: A 23-member team from poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s company I-PAC, has claimed to be under house arrest at a hotel in Agartala in Tripura. They arrived last week to assess the political situation and the potential support base for Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the 2023 state assembly elections.
The team is being questioned by the local police and is alleged not allowed to step out of the hotel.
The President of the Tripura unit of Trinamool Congress, Ashish Lal Singha however termed it as an attack on democracy.
It’s an attack on democracy. Being a resident of Tripura, I am shocked. It’s not Tripura’s culture. BJP has panicked following the overwhelming response and support to TMC due to the misrule of the BJP led government in Tripura. The I-PAC team has been under detention since Sunday night in a hotel. However, the police are saying it’s a part of a routine check-up, Singh told PTI.
He said the I-PAC team, comprising 23 members, had reached the state a week ago and also visited several places to conduct a survey at ground zero’. They had discussions not only with Trinamool Congress but also with the other parties and the team is assessing the political situation and the prospect of TMC in the next assembly election in 2023, he said.
Slamming the BJP for this incident, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee tweeted, “The fear in @BJP4Tripura before even @AITCofficial stepped into the land, is more than evident! They are so rattled by our victory in #Bengal that they’ve now kept 23 IPAC employees under house arrest. Democracy in this nation dies a thousand deaths under BJP’s misrule!”
However, the district police chief denied the allegation levelled by Singh that the I-PAC team was under detention and said it was a routine process’.
The officer-in-charge of East Agartala police station Saroj Bhattacharjee told PTI that they were not detained. ‘We are now verifying their documents. They are all in the hotel. Meanwhile, according to sources, the incident has been reported to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and professional political campaigner I-PAC chief Prashant Kishor’.
When contacted, President of BJP in the state Manik Saha told PTI that he is not aware of anything about this.