Manik Saha named as Tripura CM
Agartala, May 14
The BJP named State presi-dent and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Manik Saha as the new Chief Minister of Tripura after Biplab Kumar Deb submitted his resignation to Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya at the Raj Bhawan in Agartala on Saturday.
Deb, who had been to Delhi on Friday, said he would work in the party organisation to ensure BJP is voted back to power in the State in 2023. With the State scheduled to face Assembly elections early next year, the move came as a surprise to many, with even Ministers in his Cabinet admitting that they had no prior indication that he would do so.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting at the Chief Minister’s official residence, Dr Manik Saha said: “I was given the responsibility of the State president. I worked. Now, I’ve been named the leader of the legislative party. The CM proposed my name, everyone supported.”
Congratulating Saha on his new role, Deb said, “The party made him president and he worked a lot. The local body elections were held under his watch and the BJP won. He was elected as the leader of the legislative party. I congratulate him. I hope he will accelerate the pace of work I had started and strengthen the party and the Government.”
He added: “Party is above all. I was given charge of being the party’ State president by former BJP chief Amit Shah. I tried to work for the betterment of Tri-pura, both as a party chief and as Chief Minister. I have tried to do justice for the people of Tripura in whichever responsibility was given to me.”
Union Minister Bhupen-der Yadav and BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde oversaw the election of the new Chief Minister.
Deb said the BJP is planning to bring “responsible karyakartas” or workers into the party to prepare for the 2023 Assembly elections. “The party organisation is trying to bring responsible workers to the party. The Government will stay if party organisation is there. If the (BJP) Government has to stay for long, workers like me should work in the party, the party will benefit from it,” he said.
Asked about his next assignment, Deb said he was ready to work in any capacity, whether as Chief Minister or a ‘panna pramukh’, a person in charge of a page of the voters’ list.
“We are taken by surprise. I don’t know what prompted him. But obviously he had discussions with the party central leadership. The party may have some plans and we are confident that it will be good for the party,” said a Minister in Deb’s Cabinet.
Speaking to indianexpress.com later Saturday evening, BJP’s chief spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty said, “We have just heard about it. We don’t have enough information to comment on it yet. We have to discuss it with the party president before commenting.” He also said there is no information on the schedule of the legislative party meeting.
Meanwhile, Fire and Cooperative Minister Ramprasad Paul, who was inducted into the Biplab Deb Cabinet last year, burst out into tears soon after the announcement of the new legislative party leader and said, “I’ll die and not be a part of such a party.”
Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma and Chief Whip Kalyani Roy were unavailable for comment.
The BJP had earlier reposed faith on Deb despite a series of protests from party colleagues — slogans of ‘Biplab Hatao, Tripura Bachao’ were raised during a visit of the party’s national observer Vinod Sonkar at Agartala – and visits of BJP legislators to Delhi to complain about his way of handling things, among other issues.
Former Health Minister in the Biplab Deb Cabinet, Sudip Roy Barman, was dropped from his position, purportedly because of a feud with the CM. Roy Barman eventually left BJP with another MLA Ashish Kumar Saha and joined Congress in January this year.
Biplab Kumar Deb contested in the Tripura Assembly elections for the first time in 2018 and became MLA from Banamalipur Assembly constituency at Agartala with a margin of 9,549 votes and was chosen as Chief Minister for BJP’s debut stint in Tripura. The Indian Express