AGARTALA, April 12 - A war of words broke out in Tripura, as Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath criticised opposition leader Manik Sarkar�s statement urging the state government to withdraw the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
�The BJP-IPFT government has promulgated ESMA to protect the people as the state is battling against the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has not been used against anyone. But if anybody wants to show non-cooperation or indulge in sabotage in these difficult times, the government will use it in the interest of the state,� Nath told the media at the Civil Secretariat here on Saturday night.
Sarkar had criticised the government for using the ESMA against some nursing staff and requested the government to withdraw the draconian law.
�The government has not used the ESMA against any government employee or people engaged in essential services. It means the opposition leader, who had been the Chief Minister for 20 years, is not aware about the happenings in the state,� Nath said.
Nath rubbished the opposition leader�s concern over the ill-preparedness of the government in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. �The state has enough stock of PPEs, masks (N-95 and three-layer), gloves and medicines. The state is doing fairly better in the time of difficult situation,� he said.
Recently, six nurses of GBP Hospital were served showcause notices by the authorities for staging a protest openly after not getting masks, gloves and PPEs.