Just two days after the election results were announced in Tripura, BJP workers brought down the statue of iconic Communist leader Vladimir Lenin on Monday, March 5. With the help of a bulldozer, the BJP supporters razed the statue to the ground as they shouted slogans of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" during their party's victory celebrations.
The incident came to light at 2.30 pm on Monday when the statue placed at Belonia town in Southern Tripura was brought down by BJP supporters.
The north-eastern state of Tripura went to polls on March 3 and witnessed the historic win of BJP-IPFT alliance, ousting the Communist party which had been in power for over 25 years. Among the winning candidates was the BJP candidate Biplab Deb, who went on to become the Chief Minister of Tripura.
"Eyewitnesses told me that after the statue fell, its head was dismembered from the body. And then, the BJP workers played football with Lenin's head,'' Tapas Datta, CPI(M)'s Belonia sub-division secretary was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
While CPI(M) supporters claimed that the incident was a result of a "Communism phobia" the BJP claimed that it was an aftermath of people's actions after being "oppressed" by the Communists in the area.
Soon after the statue was vandalized, the police arrested the driver of the bulldozer. The statue was later removed from the spot and was handed over to the municipality.
"For years, there has been resentment against this statue of Lenin. It was built by the municipality and funded by the taxpayers' money. Why should the taxpayer have to finance a statue of Lenin?" Raju Nath, the BJP south district secretary, was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
He further added: "Even if it was a statue of our former CPI(M) chief minister Nripen Chakraborty, nobody would have touched it — he was one of us and belonged to the country. But what does this foreigner Lenin have to do with our people,"
The BJP leader added that his party did not hire the bulldozer to ram down the statue.
CPI(M) members, however, claim that there has been a string of attacks on their party members including physical attacks, leaders being threatened and party offices being vandalized.
BJP lawmaker Subramanian Swamy and Tathagata Roy, the Governor of Tripura voiced their opinion regarding the vandalism.
Vladimir Lenin and his contributions to Communism
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, popularly known as just Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. Lenin was the leading architect of the Communist system and the founder of the Russian Communist Party. He paved the way for a theory of social organization where all property is owned by the public and each individual receives wealth according to their ability and needs.