Biplab Kumar Deb to be next chief minister of Tripura
Union minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central observer for Tripura Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday announced that Biplab Kumar Deb would be the next chief minister and Jishnu Debbarma his deputy. The Election Commission had declared the Bharatiya Janata Party victorious in 35 of 59 seats on Saturday after counting the votes in the Assembly elections.Biplab Kumar Deb, the party’s 48-year-old state president, was the frontrunner. Even in the run-up to the polls, Deb featured prominently on the party’s promotional hoardings across the state. An import from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he is believed to be well-liked by the party’s central leadership.
In an interview ahead of the elections, the party’s state prabhari (convenor) and senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh man, Sunil Deodhar, had spoken glowingly of Deb’s leadership, saying that he was one of the most admired leaders within the party’s state unit. It was Deodhar who had brought Deb to Tripura from Delhi. He is said to have spotted Deb when he was working in the capital as an apprentice to senior Sangh leaders, including KN Govindacharya.
Speaking to in March 2017, Deb had given an account of his political roots. He came from a family of Jan Sangh – the earlier avatar of the BJP – followers. The foray into the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he had said, was a natural step. “My father did Jan Sangh when few people even knew about them in Tripura,” said Deb, who was born in Tripura’s Udaipur area.
Jishnu Debbarma, convener of the state BJP’s Janajati Morcha or tribal unit, is part of Tripura’s erstwhile royal family, and known to have a sizeable following among the state’s indigenous population. However, he is not yet a legislator. Elections in his constituency, Charilam, were postponed because of the death of the Left candidate.