Agartala, Dec 8 (IANS) Amid dissidence and discontent among a section of BJP leaders and legislators in Tripura, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb would take the advice and guidance of the people on December 13 about his continuation as head of the BJP-IPFT alliance government in the state.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference on Tuesday, Deb said: “I was badly disheartened when some people on Sunday raised the slogan ‘Biplab Hatao, Tripura Bachao’ (remove Biplab Deb, save Tripura). I worked day and night as per ‘Modi Mantra’ (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach) for the all round development of Tripura.”
He added: “At a public meeting here on December 13, I would take the advice and guidance of the people whether I should continue as the Chief Minister of Tripura or should I leave the post. I never thought of becoming the Chief Minister of Tripura. I urge the 37 lakh people of Tripura to come to the public gathering on Sunday (December 13) to advise me whether I should remain in the post of CM.
“What some four people say against me does not matter. I want to hear and take the people’s verdict and the people’s decision would be placed before the high command (for the next course of action).”
Deb said that after the BJP-IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) alliance government came to power in March 2018, Tripura progressed a lot in various sectors, including MGNREGA, health, education, infrastructure and agriculture besides economy.
Thousands of BJP workers and local leaders assembled at the state guest house on Sunday and raised slogans against Deb’s leadership while the party’s central observer Vinod Kumar Sonkar was holding a series of meetings with the ministers, MLAs and party functionaries.
Sonkar, who came out of the meeting room and told the gatherings that he would listen to each and every party functionary and try his best for the betterment of the BJP, also told the media that there is no difference of opinion within the party and that he has discussed every matter with the ministers, MLAs and party functionaries.
Deb (49) said that since he became the President of the Tripura unit of BJP in 2016, he worked whole heartedly for the welfare and development of the state and its people.
Amid media speculation about dissidence in the BJP’s Tripura unit, party President J.P. Nadda had met four legislators from the state in New Delhi on October 13 and discussed various issues.
A 14-member delegation of the state BJP leaders, led by former state President Ranajay Deb, met BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh in Delhi as well on October 14 and discussed organisational and state matters.
At Least 11 BJP legislators and some party leaders led by former Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman and party’s former Vice President Ram Prasad Paul, both sitting MLAs, went to Delhi in October to discuss “party affairs in Tripura with the central leadership”.
Barman (54), son of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Samir Ranjan Barman, led seven MLAs to join the BJP in June 2017 from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) along with scores of party leaders and workers. All seven were elected to the Assembly on Congress tickets but had subsequently switched over to the TMC.
The BJP, in alliance with the tribal Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), handed a humiliating defeat to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front in the 2018 Assembly polls.
In the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP won 36 seats and the IPFT eight, while the CPI-M, the dominant party of the Left Front, secured 16 seats.
Barman became the Health and Family Welfare, Information Technology and Science and Technology Minister after the BJP-led alliance government came to power in Tripura in March 2018.
He was sacked from the cabinet in May last year following “differences of opinion with the Chief Minister”.
He is one of the architects of the coalition government of the BJP-IPFT, which wrested power from the CPI-M led Left Front after 25 years.