Former Tripura chief minister and leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Manik Sarkar, was slammed by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for requesting government accommodation and an official vehicle, according to media reports.
Sarkar, renowned for his spartan lifestyle and once considered to be the among the country's poorest chief ministers, was criticised for asking for the routine administrative formality of seeking government accommodation near the chief minister’s official residence and a vehicle, which happens to be his entitlement as the leader of Opposition in the Tripura Assembly.
According to News18, Sarkar had written to the Tripura Legislative Assembly secretary Bamdeb Majumder asking for residential quarters and had verbally asked for either an Innova or a Scorpio car, to visit constituencies.
Hindustan Times reported that he requested these cars instead of an Ambassador car as he is not physically fit to travel in the latter due to back pains.
The report added that Sarkar was given a five-year-old Bolero jeep, which had been driven for 1.25 lakh km, but the former chief minister did not accept the vehicle. CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar said Sarkar would take the Innova belonging to the CPM party office if the BJP government was unable to provide him with a suitable vehicle.
The ruling BJP and the Congress were quick to slam Sarkar over these reports. BJP called Sarkar "bourgeoisie" and a "liar".
"Sarkar had rejected a vehicle allotted to him for his movement and specified a particular brand of SUV. It shows that though he was known as the poorest chief minister of the country, he leads a luxurious lifestyle. His demands proved the point," BJP spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said to Hindustan Times.
According to The Week, Congress spokesperson Tapas Dey said Sarkar has given scope to his critics to question his intentions. "The things that we had said earlier now stand to be true. He had built this image of a modest man travelling in a train or cycling his way to work. In his era, all Opposition leaders stayed in MLA hostels and never demanded anything. His demands are a blotch on the ideals of Communism," Dey said.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 21, 2018 21:23 PM