Centre trying to impose 'economic blockade' on Tripura: CM

Taking a dig at the Centre, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Thursday accused the central government of trying to create an "economic blockade" and "hatching a conspiracy" against the state government to destabilise it.

According to him, the state has been losing Rs 1,500-2000 crore a year since the abolition of the Planning Commission and implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations for sharing 42 per cent of the central tax revenues with the states.

"During the Planning Commission regime, the northeastern states including Tripura used to enjoy the special category status, under which additional financial support was extended to these states.

"But, after the abolition of the Commission, we are being deprived of the additional support," Sarkar said here at the Tripura solidarity meeting.

The Centre had often argued that states' share in the central tax revenue had been increased from 32 per cent to 42 per cent, as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission, and the states had to manage from higher funds from the increased revenue-sharing method, he said.

"However, in Tripura, we are losing Rs 1500-2000 crore per year now as compared to what we used to get earlier."

He pointed out that the CPI-M-led Left Front government used to fight with the previous central governments to get funds, but the present central government had deprived the state of central aid.

"The BJP-led central government backed by the RSS is trying to impose an economic blockade on the state," he said, adding that the Modi government was not providing funds for central programmes, including rural job schemes, despite the state meeting all compliance norms.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to strike a blow on the popularity base of the Left Front government, he said.

"The Left Front government's base has been the tribal communities. In association with a separatist outfit, they are trying to attack our popularity base, raising slogan of separate state. They are conspiring against the government," he said.

Sarkar said although the Election Commission had been updating the list from time to time, the BJP had demanded revision of voter list to delete illegitimate voters.

"These are parts of a larger conspiracy, but we will fight it out," he said.

In the outgoing assembly, the Left Front has 51 seats in the 60-member House.

"CPI-M-led Left Front will surely retain power in Tripura in the February assembly polls," Sarkar added.