EDITORIAL | Tripura CM on the edge: Battle is won but will he win the war?



Cracks within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura are becoming more obvious with the chief minister and BJP leader, Biplab Kumar Deb trying really hard to hold on to his chair. He recently sought a rally seeking people’s mandate, which was subsequently cancelled following the intervention of the party’s national president, JP Nadda.

Not only this, few days back, Tripura witnessed heightened political drama after an “emotional and insecure” chief minister gave a clarion call to the citizens of the state to attend a rally at Stable Ground in Agartala on December 13, seeking their mandate to decide whether he should still continue serving the state as the CM.

Reportedly, it was the first time in Tripura that a chief minister was seeking people’s mandate to remain in the chair.

His call to action, however, did not go down well with some of the BJP leaders in the state, including the opposition CPI(M), who criticised the “brazen” and “childish” act of the CM.

The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the BJP-led government in the state, also condemned Deb’s statement while being unappreciative of the reported attempt of the chief minister to unnecessarily drag the government into the internal mess.

Back-to-back meetings between BJP leaders swiftly followed, who rushed to the CM’s residence soon after the announcement for ‘mandate’ rally was made. Extending their support to Deb, some of the BJP leaders (the number of which is yet to be ascertained) had urged the chief minister to call off the rally.

And it was only till the national president of the saffron party intervened that Deb dropped the idea of holding the rally.

How did it all start? When did the cracks appear?

It was when a section of the BJP leaders (dissidents) expressed their disappointment over the performance of the chief minister and demanded his removal. Some of them are reportedly still camping in New Delhi to seek an audience with the central leadership.

A section of BJP functionaries and their supporters had raised ‘Biplab Hotao, Tripura Bachao’ (Expel Biplab, Save Tripura) slogan at the State Guest House when BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh and newly appointed prabhari (in charge) of Tripura, Provari Binod Sonkar was taking stock of organisational activities.

On the edge, the Tripura CM had expressed disappointment and sorrow over the incident. “I am saddened by the slogan. My only fault maybe is that I am committed for the development of the state; my time is capped at five years as an elected government. I am no government officer serving for thirty years. Friends, (Chanting Modi-mantra) I vow to work day and night together. People have entrusted me with the task by electing me; I would remember them forever," Deb had said.

With the intervention of the central party leadership, the battle for the chair is won, however, the war has just begun.

Will Biplab Kumar Deb complete his term? Will he yet again make another decision which will force the central party leadership to step in? We don’t know. But one thing we do know is that the political drama is far from over.


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