25 families of a small village in Tripura called Moidatilla in the Shantinagar constituency were shunned from their mosque because they had decided to support BJP. Moidatilla is a small village of about 100 families in the Shantinagar constituency in south Tripura. 83 of these families are Muslims.
As per a report in The Indian Express, about two years ago, some Muslim families in the village decided to support the BJP. Babul Hossain, a 35-year-old potato farmer has said that, about 16 months ago, his family and some others had joined BJP. Soon after, they were told by the other Muslim villagers that they could no longer pray in the village mosque because BJP is a ‘Hindu-Vadi’ party. They were forbidden to come to the village mosque and were told to go with the Hindus.
Hossain and the other families that were shunned had to build a make-shift mosque with tin roof and bamboo. Thye have engaged an imam and pay him by collecting money among themselves.
I urged the people of Tripura not to be affected by the threats from the Left. It is my assurance that nobody will be able to harm my sisters and brothers of Tripura. pic.twitter.com/MXpsuLEiy4
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2018
The shunned families also say that they have not heard about the BJP being a Hindutva Party. They don’t believe that the BJP had attacked any person because of their religion. They insist that this is just something that the Congress and the CPM have been saying. The villagers said that they have joined BJP because all these years of voting for Congress and CPM has not benefitted them in any way. The village has acute poverty and no power. There are no good roads to reach the village and no prospects of clean drinking water. Even the CPM workers in the village had denied any help to repair the mosque.
Another lady, Bhanu Bibi had contested the panchayat elections earlier on a Congress ticket. She claimed that she was not even paid for 35 days of work under MNREGA . The villagers also claimed that the CPM workers often threaten and harass them. The musclemen also wanted a cut from the money raised for the mosque.
The CPM’s candidate for the Shantibazar constituency is State Minister for Home and Tribal Welfare Manindra Reang. He had alleged that RSS workers have camped in the rural areas and helped the families financially. He also claims that the villagers who earlier wanted only “mota bhaat and mota kapaad” (food and clothing) have started demanding infrastructure and development. He asserted that there is no infrastructure because the state was battling with problems of insurgency and there will be developmental work if the party comes back to power for the next five years.
PM Modi, while addressing an election rally in Tripura had alleged the Manik Sarkar-led government of massive corruption and lack of will for development of the poor people.
Tripura is set to hold the elections for the 60 Legislative Assembly seats this month. Tripura has about 37% tribal population and the state as a whole is reportedly decades back in development and basic infrastructure needs.