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Former Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb elected to Rajya Sabha

The state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after Manik Saha, now chief minister, resigned in June to contest an Assembly bypoll.

Former Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb (File)

Former Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb won the Rajya Sabha bypoll held on Thursday. The BJP leader polled 43 votes, against 15 votes cast in favour of Left Front candidate Bhanulal Saha.

“Gratitude to the BJP and IPFT MLAs of Tripura for electing me as a Rajya Sabha MP. Gratitude to PM Sri @narendramodi Ji, @BJP4India President Sri @JPNadda Ji & HM Sri @AmitShah for giving me this opportunity to represent Tripura in Rajya Sabha,” Deb tweeted after his victory.

The state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after Manik Saha, now chief minister, resigned in June to contest an Assembly bypoll.

Deb, who had been without any major assignment for a couple of months, was recently made the BJP in-charge for Haryana. On balancing parliamentary work with his organisational role, he said, “I have already started working in Haryana and will work in Parliament as well, in any capacity entrusted by the central government.”

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Jubilant party workers celebrated the win in front of the BJP headquarters at Krishnanagar in the state capital.

While the results were certain given that the BJP has 36 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly, Saha said all elections were equally important. “We are fully prepared. Our workers are deputed at the grassroots. I think we will get more seats in 2023,” he said.

The BJP’s alliance partner, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, has seven MLAs and the Opposition CPM and Congress have 15 and 1 legislators respectively. One IPFT MLA has been disqualified. The lone Congress MLA, Sudip Roy Barman, reportedly did not cast his vote.

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Opposition leader Manik Sarkar said Thursday’s bypoll was only the second election in the past 52 months where votes could be cast peacefully. “Since the BJP-IPFT government came to power, no real elections were held. Here MLAs cast their votes… The question is what will happen ahead. People are ready. This fascist government cannot be tolerated anymore. They are getting separated from people and cannot trust people anymore. The previous bypoll saw pitched violence. We do not think people will allow this anymore,” the CPM veteran said.

However, Sarkar did not comment on why the Left Front’s appeal, including to the IPFT, for putting up a unified fight against the BJP in the Rajya Sabha bypoll failed.

First published on: 22-09-2022 at 07:12:02 pm
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