Biplab Kumar Deb to be sworn-in as new Tripura Chief Minister

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AGARTALA: BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb will be sworn in as the new chief minister of Tripura on March 9 to usher in the party’s maiden government in the northeastern state after it ended 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front.

Deb, who will have another state BJP leader Jishnu Kumar Debbarma, a tribal, as his deputy, will assume office amid accusations by the CPI-M that the BJP and ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) were unleashing violence in the state after the combine swept to power last Saturday winning 43 seats in the 60-member Assembly. The BJP, which bagged 35 seats, has rejected the allegations. The IPFT notched 8 seats.

A statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin was pulled down by some unidentified people with an excavator machine at Belonia in South Tripura district, the police said today.

48-year-old Deb, who met Governor Tathagata Roy and staked claim to form the government, said he has been appointed chief minister by the governor.

The swearing-in of the new ministers would take place on March 9 in the Assam Rifles Maidan, said Deb, a long-time RSS volunteer and who has been largely credited for the BJP’s turnaround in Tripura.

Earlier in the day, Deb, the state BJP president, was unanimously elected the leader of BJP legislature party, said Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who was present at the meeting as the central observer.

Gadkari also told newsmen that Debbarma, a prominent tribal leader and a member of Tripura’s royal family, would be the Deputy Chief Minister.

Debbarma is yet to be elected as an MLA as the polling in his Charilam(Scheduled Tribe) constituency was postponed due to the death of the CPI(M) candidate. The election would now be held on March 12.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram also joined the meeting attended by all the 35 newly elected BJP MLAs.

Deb said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and chief ministers of all the BJP-ruled states would be invited to the swearing-in ceremony.

Gadkari congratulated Deb for the landslide victory against the Left Front and said he hoped Tripura would move on the path of progress under his leadership.

“We hope poverty and starvation of the people and the unemployment problem would come to an end in the new regime,” he said.

Later, a combined meeting of BJP and IPFT was held during which the latter endorsed the decision of the BJP legislature party.

The IPFT had earlier demanded that the chief minister be from the tribal community.

IPFT president N C Debbarma said North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma would reach here tomorrow and in his presence it would be decided how many berths would be given to the IPFT in the ministry.

The CPI-M got 16 seats while the Congress drew a blank.

CPI-M’s south Tripura district secretary Tapas Dutta accused the BJP and the IPFT of unleashing an “unprecedented reign of terror” in the state after the declaration of the poll results.

But BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav hit back and alleged that the communists were indulging in “false propaganda” about violence in Tripura. “Not a single CPM leader is injured or in hospital. Contrary several BJP leaders in hospital with injuries,” he tweeted.

Source: Press Trust of India