As part of the observance of a countrywide protest day to save MNREGA, the CPI(M) in Tripura organised protest meetings and dharnas in front of the offices of central government throughout the state. Two hour long dharna and protest meetings at more than 50 spots across the state witnessed militant participation of thousands of people. At all the venues protest meetings from 12 pm to 2 pm the mood was clear, the people of Tripura shall not take this attack on the livelihood of the rural people lying down. The gatherings demanded a reversal of the decision to dilute the MNREGA, protested against the unilateral and huge cutting down of the allocation of Tripura and voiced demands for 200 days of work in all the blocks with a minimum wage of 250 rupees.
In front of All India Radio centre at Agartala, the protest meeting was addressed by CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, state secretariat member Gautam Das, party state committee member Krishna Rakshit and MLA Ratan Das. The meeting was presided over by CPI(M) Sadar Sub divisional committee secretary Samar Adhya.
Bijan Dhar said, the protest day in Tripura is being held in a situation when the divisive forces are trying to create ethnic tension in the name of separate state and encouraging the extremist and terrorist forces and the Congress and all other opposition parties too are fuelling this divisive slogan and indulging in slanderous campaign against the Left Front Government on issues of corruption on which the government has already taken action. He said, it was because of the pressure of the Left that the 1st UPA had to start this MNREGA but from the 2nd UPA itself they were reducing the actual allocation and Modi government after assuming office has started efforts to dismantle this program itself. Tripura the best performing state in this project for last 3 years has been hit hard as the centre has unilaterally slashed the agreed labour budget by more than 52%. Also the decision to change the wage and equipment ratio from 60:40 to 51:49 shall further reduce the scope of employment. This will have disastrous effect on the livelihood of the rural people especially the women. The contractual workers who were recruited at different levels of the three tier panchayat will lose their jobs. Modi government had promised to create jobs, bring back black money and keep a check on price rise but on the contrary they are taking steps which shall further fuel price rise and increase the miseries of the common people and benefit only the corporates by snatching away the rights of the workers. The communal forces under the guidance of RSS are trying to create communal tension. People must fight back these attacks and resist these retrograde steps to protect their rights of livelihood he underlined.
Gautam Das said despite all the hurdles imposed by centre including delayed release of funds Tripura for last 3 years has come out as the best performing state in MNREGA implementation. While the national average of person days generated in the scheme never crossed 44-46, Tripura recorded an average of 88 person days per year. While it should have been given more funds for this achievement, the centre has slashed even the agreed labour budget from 1406 crores to a mere 660 crores and decided to limit it to only 15 blocks arbitrarily chosen by it. He too called upon the people to resist this attack by strong mass movements.