Amid dissidence in Tripura BJP, ‘majority’ MLAs vow to support Deb

Agartala, Dec 9 : A day after Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s announcement to take people’s verdict through a public meeting about his continuance in the post of CM, a large number of BJP ministers and MLAs met him on Wednesday night to reiterate their support for him.

Amid dissidence and discontent among a section of BJP leaders and legislators in Tripura, Deb on Tuesday night had announced to take the advice and guidance of the people at a public gathering here on December 13 about his continuation as the head of the BJP-IPFT alliance government in the state.

BJP’s central observer Vinod Kumar Sonkar reportedly told the media that he and Deb have spoken to BJP national President J.P. Nadda on the issue.

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“The CM (Deb) should serve the people of Tripura. If there are any issues, the party will look into them,” Sonkar said, as quoted by the media.

Senior BJP leader and party MLA Ratan Chakraborty, while coming out of the Chief Minister’s official residence here, told the media that majority of the 36 BJP MLAs met Deb and expressed their whole-hearted support to his leadership.

Education and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that Deb is a very positive minded Chief Minister, unlike the previous nine other CMs, including CPI-M’s Manik Sakar (1998-2018) and the first Chief Minister of the state Sachindra Lal Singh (Congress, 1963-1971).

“In my 28 years of political career, I have never seen such a positive minded leader in Tripura. Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma on Thursday is likely to announce something about the latest political development,” Nath, a trusted man of Deb, told the media.

Besides BJP’s ally the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the main opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress on Wednesday ridiculed Deb’s announcement to take people’s mandate through a public gathering.

IPFT President and Revenue Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarman said that on Tuesday, there was a cabinet meeting and the Chief Minister did not mention about his intention to take the people’s mandate through a public mandate then.

“In the parliamentary democracy system, there is no provision to take people’s mandate through public rallies,” Debbarman, a veteran tribal leader, told the media.

CPI-M’s state secretary Gautam Das said: “Ruling BJP’s internal feud brought to public while the saffron party led government in its 33 months of governance entirely failed to deliver the goods. The Chief Minister is not concerned about the people’s hardships in all spheres of life while immense unemployment and misgovernance created an unprecedented crisis in Tripura.”

Terming Deb’s declaration to take public mandate as farce, the CPI-M central committee member told the media that there is no scope to take public mandate through an arranged public meeting in a parliamentary democracy.

Congress leader Tapas Dey said that if Deb is sincere to take the public mandate, he should face the election conductd by the Election Commission.

“This move is a cover-up attempt to suppress the failure of the BJP government,” Dey, who’s also a former MLA, said.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference on Tuesday night, 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 the Modi Mantra (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach) for the all round development of Tripura.”

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 had 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.

Amid media speculation about dissidence in the BJP’s Tripura unit, party President J.P. Nadda and BJP’s national General Secretary Arun Singh had met several legislators and leaders from the state in New Delhi on October 13-14 and discussed various issues.

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.

Barman, also an architect of the coalition government, became the Health and Family Welfare Minister after the BJP-led alliance government came to power in Tripura in March 2018 and he was sacked from the cabinet in May last year following “differences of opinion with the Chief Minister”.

The BJP, in alliance with the tribal based party IPFT, handed a humiliating defeat to the CPI-M led Left Front in the 2018 Assembly polls after 25 years.

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.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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