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Agartala: In a video, a Tripura minister is seen groping a female colleague on stage in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has landed in a major controversy with opposition demanding that he be fired and charged with sexual harassment.

On Monday, Tripura’s opposition Left Front demanded that minister Monoj Kanti Deb be sacked for “touching” the woman in an “indecnt manner” during a rally in Agartala on Saturday that was also attended by Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb.

The minister declined to comment on the incident. However, the ruling BJP dismissed the charge and called it “character assassination”.

Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar said, “Monoj Kanti Deb must be sacked and be arrested for touching the woman minister in an extremely indecent manner on the stage from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and others addressed the public gathering.”

Dhar said that video went viral on social media showing that Deb put his hand on the waist of Social Welfare and Social Education Minister Santana Chakma, a young tribal leader.

"The male minister has publicly harmed the modesty, sanctity and dignity of the lone woman minister of Tripura at a public platform where the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and other important personalities were present," Dhar added.

Other local parties in Tripura are also planning protests soon to demand the resignation and arrest of the minister.

However, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said Left Front is raising “non-issue”against BJP government and has now “started character assassination of BJP ministers on false and non-issue matters”.

"The woman minister has never made any statement and complaint on the issue raised by the Left parties. Why are the Left parties doing this dirty politics?" Bhattacharjee asked.
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