Amid a grave political crisis in Tripura, a majority of state MLAs and ministers have vouched faith in Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and said they wanted him to continue in his post. The assertion on Thursday came after Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said he would hold a “public mandate event” in Agartala on December 13, claiming that he would resign if he was rejected. He, however, cancelled the event after the central BJP stepped in two days ago.
A “pained” Deb had called for the event after some BJP workers raised slogans of ‘Biplab Hatao, BJP Bachao’ (Remove Biplab, Save BJP) during BJP state observer Vinod Sonkar’s visit in Tripura on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters here this afternoon, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma said BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda and Sonkar urged the CM to cancel the “public opinion test”. “All the MLAs and ministers also met with the CM and urged him to call off the December 13 event. He has accepted our request. There will be no such programme.”
Devvarma also said his party would investigate the sloganeering episode.
Over 24 BJP legislators, including all six ministers of the party, visited Deb at his official residence Wednesday evening for nearly two hours.
Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Manoj Kanti Deb said they had paid a “courtesy call” on the CM on their own, adding that all party legislators and ministers have unequivocally said they wanted Deb to continue as Chief Minister and have vouched their support to him.
Transport Minister Pranajit Singh Roy, who had also called on Deb, told reporters that he had total confidence in the CM. He also expressed concern on the “actual political identity” of those who raised anti-Biplab slogans and said they might not be BJP workers.
Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath declined to comment on the meeting but said he called on the CM out of courtesy. He praised Deb for his “simplicity” and said he “hadn’t seen any other CM with such a positive outlook ever”.
BJP has 36 MLAs in the 60-member assembly and runs the government in alliance with tribal alliance partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), which has eight legislators. While some legislators were not part of the visit, Manoj Kanti Deb said many of them were not present in Agartala. He claimed Deb has support of all lawmakers from the party.
Earlier, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya had accused opposition CPIM and Congress of having a role in the incident. The opposition has, however, said the incident exposed factional feuds in the BJP.