The BJP today claimed that a tribal labourer has allegedly sold off his minor daughter due to poverty in Tripura, with the state administration denying that any such incident occurred.
The saffron party claimed that the father, Karna Debbarma, had allegedly sold off his eight-year-old daughter at Saratchandrapara in Khowai district last Monday.
A video, which was made available to reporters, purportedly shows the man saying he "sold his daughter due to poverty".
"I am an APL card holder and earn my livelihood by selling forest produce. I have sold my daughter due to poverty," the man said.
Debbarma claimed that he had asked for a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card from the local elected representatives several times and they had assured him that the card would be issued at the appropriate time.
"I have not received any benefit as a poor tribal from the government so far," Debbarma said in the video.
"There are six members in his family," the labourer said.
BJP spokesperson, Subrata Chakraborty said, "It is a proof that the tribals are languishing in poverty and the BPL cards are issued to only those who support the ruling CPI-M."
When contacted, the sub-divisional magistrate of Teliamura, Jayanta Dey said, "After receiving the information he had asked the Mungiyakami Block Development Officer, Sirshendu Debbarma, to inquire into it and the BDO had reported that no such incident had occurred."
"It is also not true that he (Debbarma) had not received government benefits. A pond was dug up and a rubber garden was developed on his land under a government scheme. He is not poor," Dey said.