BJP leader Biplab Kumar Deb, fired as Chief Minister of Tripura in a sudden move by the party leadership, told NDTV that he will continue to fulfill his duty as a disciplined BJP soldier and that the party would decide the next step for him.
“I will fulfill my duty no matter what new role the party leadership gives me. I cannot decide, the party will decide the next step for me. I will follow. We are disciplined soldiers of the BJP “, did he declare.
In a political development that surprised many, Deb tendered his resignation to Tripura Governor Satyadeo Narayan Arya yesterday, a year ahead of Assembly elections.
At a hastily convened Legislative Party meeting, Mr Deb proposed the name of Rajya Sabha MP and BJP Head of State Manik Saha as the new choice for the post of Chief Minister.
The meeting saw dramatic scenes as many MPs were unhappy that they had not been consulted on the change and the BJP leadership took the decision abruptly. One of the MPs, Ram Prasad Paul, also broke some chairs in protest at the decision.
Mr Deb also said it was an “emotional” moment for him and his supporters. “I have worked with total dedication, so it is natural for me to feel emotional. Every Indian is emotional. It is natural for leaders and MPs who have worked with me to feel emotional,” he said. declared.
However, he said, Tripura now has a stable government and with elections due next year, it needs to start working at the local level.
“The government is very stable now and with the elections coming up, it’s time for me to reach ground zero,” the 50-year-old leader told NDTV.
Appointed the BJP’s head of state in 2017, Deb led the party’s campaign in the 2018 assembly elections, when the BJP ended the Left Front’s 25-year rule in Tripura. During his four-year tenure in the top job, Mr Deb made headlines with a series of controversial statements that left the party red-faced.
Mr. Saha, who will succeed Mr. Deb, is a 69-year-old dental surgeon turned politician. Last March, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the sole seat of Tripura.
Professor and Head of Department at Tripura Medical College and BR Ambedkar Memorial Teaching Hospital in Agartala, Mr. Saha joined the BJP in 2016. He is also the President of the Tripura Cricket Association.
Known to be close to Mr. Deb, Mr. Saha was appointed chairman of the BJP’s state unit last year.