Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today set to rest the controversy over the Bangladesh government's honour for his contributions to the 1971 Liberation War by saying he would receive it on behalf of the people of the state.
"I personally think, I will receive the honour on behalf of the people of the state who contributed to the Liberation War", Sarkar told the assembly when called upon to make a statement by Speaker Ramendra Nath after opposition Congress members created noisy scenes over the issue.
Sarkar said, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni had on February 16 extended an invitation to him as the National Committee of Bangladesh recommended his name to formally recognise his contribution to the Bangladesh Liberation War.
"Whatever may be written in the letter, I will receive it on behalf of the people of the state," the chief minister said.
Bangladesh has decided to include him among the 129 foreign dignitaries who had contributed to the Liberation War.
The opposition bench earlier demanded a statement from the chief minister leading to noisy scenes.
Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath of the Congress raised the issue during Zero Hour saying that many people in the state had contributed during the Liberation War and questioned why the Chief Minister was instead honoured.
Nath was supported by Congress members Sudip Roy Burman and Surajit Dutta.
Government Chief Whip (CPI-M) Samir Deb Sarkar sharply reacted saying the opposition bench was politicking over the issue when there were cordial relations between the state government and the neighbouring country.
The opposition members protested this by shouting, thumping desks and twice rushed to the podium demanding a statement from the chief minister.
The speaker then asked the chief minister to make a statement.
But when the opposition members continued shouting and thumping desks, the speaker adjourned the house at 12:35 pm till 2:00 pm.
When the house reassembled the opposition members did not raise the issue again.
Nath later told reporters in his chamber "neither the chief minister nor his party, the CPI-M, played any role in the Bangladesh Liberation War. They remained indifferent to it as China, their ideological mentor, had opposed it."